National Guard helps Lexington clear roads

Twelve Kentucky National Guard members from the 138th Fires Brigade are headed to the Andover subdivision and other Lexington neighborhoods battered by falling limbs and trees, Lexington's mayor announced Thursday.

The six two-person crews will help break down the limbs with chain saws and clear Lexington streets. Then Division of Solid Waste workers will come through and start clearing, city officials said Thursday morning at a city hall news briefing.

"Were making pretty good progress," Newberry said. "We still have a lot of work to do, especially on the streets and roads front."

As of 9 a.m. Thursday, about 37,000 homes and businesses with service from Kentucky Utilities remained without power in Fayette County.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 customers, including Blue Grass Airport, regained power last night, but others lost electricity, KU spokesman Dave Freibert said.

"Several thousand will be back on today. Some will go without power for as much as a week," he said.

First priority will be given to restoring power to hospitals and nursing homes, he said.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department remained closed Thursday but was expected to reopen Friday.

All of the city's major arterial streets are clear, said Mike Webb, the city's acting public works commissioner.

Salt trucks and plows planned to focus Thursday on collector streets and main roads in subdivisions.

The city's Emergency Operations Center remained open to coordinate requests to get people to shelters. About 100 people were counted at a Red Cross shelter set up at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

The Salvation Army was scheduled to serve hot meals from noon to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday.