Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 6, 2014

Thousands of outages in area

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

ASHLAND — Thousands of northeastern Kentucky residents had their electrical power knocked out by the ice storm that moved through the region Tuesday night.

The storm left ice accumulations of up to a half-inch in some locations in Kentucky Power’s Ashland District, which resulted in more than 6,000 customers losing service.

According to Kentucky Power, it might be as late as 4 p.m. Friday before everyone has their electricity back. However, crews were making progress restoring power on Wednesday, and, by late afternoon, the number of outages in the Ashland District — which includes Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliott, Lawrence and Lewis counties — had been trimmed to about 4,500.

“We’re hoping that by the end of the day, we can refine that (restoration time) down to something sooner,” said Delinda Borden, Kentucky Power manager of customer and distribution services for the Ashland District.

Carter County had 1,864 outages, the most in the district.  Borden said the bulk of those were on the western end of the county, which was hardest-hit by the storm.

Boyd County had more than 1,500 outages. Among those were several of the Ashland water system’s pump stations, and Ashland City Manager Ben Bitter said those power losses caused several hundred residents to lose water service.

Bitter said Wednesday morning those outages were not caused by the low-pressure problems that have plagued the system for the past few days, and that those customers should see their water service return “instantaneously” once power returned. The power came back on at the stations later in the day on Wednesday, he said.

Greenup County had more than 700 outages while Lawrence County had roughly 500.

Borden said the majority of the outages were caused by ice-laden tree limbs snapping and falling on power lines. She said Kentucky Power had done quite a bit of tree-clearing along its rights-of-way in recent years in an effort to prevent that from happening, “but we can only clear them so far back.”

Kentucky Power able to bring in crews from outside the district to help repair the lines, “and we were able to get them here fast,” Borden said. Some were from with the Kentucky Power system; others were from its sister companies, Appalachian Power and AEP Ohio.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2654.