Storms bring traffic woes and power outages to UK's campus

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A severe storm hit Lexington in the middle of afternoon rush hour, knocking out power to 28,000 Kentucky Utilities customers.

Traffic lights on some of the city's busiest roads went dark. And some UK students who just moved on campus got stuck in dorm elevators.

As a new semester of classes begins, there's a lot of traffic on UK's campus. But Wednesday's traffic around campus was not because of students moving in. Most haven't made the big move yet.

"College hasn't really started I guess, but it's still pretty interesting," said Dean Hadi, a freshman at UK.

It's actually due to traffic lights being knocked out by lightning from an earlier storm.

"Other than this event, we've had a really good start," said Rachel Stringer, also a UK freshman.

The weather not only caused traffic woes but also power outages around campus. At Blanding Tower, the elevators actually malfunctioned.

Hadi described to us what the elevator sounded like and felt like when the power went out in Blanding Tower for a couple minutes. Hadi and Stringer were in that elevator along with one other freshman.

"It looked normal like everything, but it just kind of slowed down a bit," said Hadi.

"I did freak out a little bit. I was really nervous when the lights went out, and it wasn't moving," said Stringer. "I was definitely claustrophobic. There were three of us in there which isn't that many. But it's like, 'Oh my gosh, we're never going to get out of here!'"

Fortunately for them, they got out quickly because they were able to squeeze through the cracked elevator door.

"I got paranoid," said Hadi. "I jumped out."

As for the other stuck elevator in Blanding Tower, those students weren't as lucky.

"Fireman and all that came out of nowhere with crowbars, and it looked pretty bad. I'm just going to stick to Kirwan Tower for now," said Hadi.

These UK students say they're now paying attention to the weather and not getting near an elevator anytime soon.

"We're going to a basement to play pool right now and not going in elevators anymore," said Stringer.

At last check just after 10 p.m., Kentucky Utilities reported about 300 power outages in Lexington along with some traffic lights. KU officials tell us some complications with lightning strikes and downed trees and power lines delayed their restoration process.

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