Scattered power outages in Central, Eastern Kentucky as temperatures fall

jwarren@herald-leader.comJanuary 6, 2014 

Temperatures contributed to scattered power outages Monday morning, and more electrical problems are possible.

Power has been restored to most Kentucky Utilities customers who lost power Monday morning, according to Kentucky Utilities.

Shortly after 10 a.m., about 500 customers remained without power across the company's service area, spokesman Cliff Feltham said. The number included about 240 customers in scattered parts of Fayette County, he said.

"Most of those can be attributed to the cold weather in one way or another," Feltham said. "It's a neighborhood-by-neighborhood situation. So it's not a matter of throwing one switch that would be able to get everybody back on."

The largest single outage — which affected about 1,200 customers along the Nicholasville Road corridor — was repaired about 9:30 a.m., Feltham said.

That outage began about 4:30 a.m. Monday in the Brannon Crossing area, and some additional KU customers lost power about 7 a.m., the company said.

A faulty line fuse between Nicholasville and Lexington shut off, apparently because of the extreme cold, Feltham said.

The cold causes two kinds of electrical problems, Feltham said. Customers turn up their thermostats to keep warm, and that increases demand on the power system, he said. At the same time, deep cold puts heavier stress on electrical equipment, he said.

"Mechanical equipment gets cold and brittle, and it just decides it's not going to work, like something on your car," Feltham said.

The company has a full complement of repair crews available if more problems turn up during the cold snap, he said.

"We are staffed up 100 percent, with our regular company employees, plus contract workers who work with us every day in various roles," he said. "We're just waiting to see if we're going have more outages in this cold, which is a possibility.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Power reported Monday morning that 1,500 customers — about 600 each in Perry and Floyd counties and 277 in Knott County — in three counties were without power.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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