Fayette County

Fortified crews restore power to thousands in Central Kentucky, but others wait

View significant tree damage along Midway Road in Woodford County

This was the view Monday morning along a segment of U.S. 62 (Midway Road) between U.S. 60 and Old Frankfort Pike heading toward Midway from Versailles in Woodford County. Numerous trees were uprooted or damaged in Friday's severe weather.
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This was the view Monday morning along a segment of U.S. 62 (Midway Road) between U.S. 60 and Old Frankfort Pike heading toward Midway from Versailles in Woodford County. Numerous trees were uprooted or damaged in Friday's severe weather.

With the help of additional crews from six states and overnight work, KU shrunk the number of Lexington customers without power Monday night to about 400.

But progress in Woodford County was less dramatic, and 4,300 remained without electricity three full days after Friday storms snapped limbs, uprooted trees and tore down electric lines.

The utility continued to warn that parts of the two counties could go without power until some time Tuesday. Their crews were set to work through the night Monday.

KU crews have worked 16-hour shifts and been supplemented with additional crews from six different states who assist with technical tasks, tree trimming and support, according to KU spokesman Daniel Lowry. Around 950 crew members were deployed in the Central Kentucky area.

At 5 a.m. Monday, about 2,800 Fayette County customers were without power and that number decreased to 1,930 by 8 a.m. and 400 by about 7 p.m. The total is a big drop from the 8,300 without service Sunday night.

“They have been working in the rain and overnight. Hopefully we can knock a lot of this out today and make the final push tomorrow,” Lowry said.

As of late Sunday night, traffic signals in Lexington no longer required police assistance to operate, according to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

It’s been more difficult to restore power in Woodford County, and 7,024 customers had no electricity in the Versailles area early Monday, Lowry said. By a little after 7 p.m. Monday, there were 4,300 customers still without power.

“Versailles was just hit so hard. We’re able to hit those areas now with a lot of resources,” Lowry said.

Seven transmission structures were knocked down by the storm Friday, Lowry said. “You see limbs and trees down in Fayette, but you see a lot more in Woodford,” he added.

In total, Friday’s storm left 60,000 KU customers in Fayette County and 12,000 in Woodford County without power. Throughout Central Kentucky, about 170,000 KU customers lost power, making Friday’s storm among the top five to hit the KU and LG&E system. Friday’s storm was the biggest weather event in terms of outages in Lexington and Central Kentucky since the destructive 2003 ice storm, Lowry said.

More than 1,000 wires in KU’s system were taken down by trees and wind from Friday’s storm, according to Lowry.

Lowry said he understood customers’ frustrations but asked for patience.

Kentucky Utilities working to restore power in the Cardinal Valley neighborhood on Sunday

“We are working as hard as we can and around the clock. We hope to have everyone up by tomorrow,” Lowry said Monday. “There is so much more that people don’t understand about what it takes to restore even one utility line. There is so much that goes into it. It just takes time.”

More than 10,700 Blue Grass Energy customers were without power due to the storm, and it reported Sunday afternoon that power for all of its customers had been restored. The hardest hit part of its service area was Anderson, Franklin and Woodford counties, it said in a Facebook post.

The city announced on Sunday that God’s Pantry will help people who need to stock up on the basics, like fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and snacks starting Monday at 10 a.m. with locations at 2077 Cambridge Drive, 422 Codell Drive and 726 Georgetown Street.

“Filling up a refrigerator is expensive,” Mayor Jim Gray said Sunday in a news release. “Thanks to God’s Pantry Food Bank for helping us help those who can’t afford to replace the basics.”

Volunteers helped God’s Pantry sites respond, according to the city.

Repair crews worked to repair downed fiber optic cable to restore Internet and phone lines for residents on Maxwell on Sunday after Friday’s thunderstorms took down lines along the street in Lexington.

Aerial footage of fallen trees blocking Park Ave. in Lexington following Friday's storms in Lexington.

Several roads were blocked due to power lines and fallen trees caused by severe thunderstorms on Friday evening.

Strong storms that rolled through Lexington and Central Kentucky on Friday afternoon took down a tree at Rose and Maxwell streets.

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