Cold Knocks Out Power To Hundreds

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Power company officials are blaming the frigid weather for an outage affecting more than 800 eastern Kentucky homes Friday.
We visited some of those struggling to keep warm.

Signs of the bitter cold are everywhere. The arctic blast caused enough stress on Kentucky power systems to knock out power to 850 customers in Perry and surrounding counties.

Lothair resident Donna Husdon says, "The coldest day of year, and we have no electricity."

Hudson's daughter Kathleen says, "It's just like standing outside."

People hauled in other heat sources, put extra logs on the fire, and bundled up.

Charles Melton says, "I fixed coffee and stuff like that off that generator."

Many have a hard time remembering the last time it was this cold.

Hudson says, "Probably about 14 years ago, there was snow on the ground, probably 10, 12 inches of snow here."

Power crews faced delays in restoring power because of too many appliances left plugged in - what's called a "cold load."

AEP Spokesperson Ron Robinson explains, "What the cold load condition consists of is a sudden surge that all of these electrical appliances left on at the time the power goes out causes on the system when power is restored, which can lock out the electrical system that they just restored."

AEP officials say customers can speed up the process by unplugging and turning everything off, except for one light switch to know when power is back.

Until then some stay close to their fires ...

"That's my strategy!" says Melton.

... and look for distractions from the cold.

AEP officials say outages to their customers in Perry, Knott, Letcher, Leslie, and Breathitt counties were all fixed by Friday afternoon.

Transportation department workers battled the cold to keep traffic lights working during a power outage in Pike County Friday morning.

Officials say the power went out around 9am in Coal Run, along one of the busiest sections of U.S. 23.

The outage knocked out traffic lights at eight intersections.

Crews hooked up generators to the signals and manually operated some to keep them working and keep traffic flowing until the power came back on at noon.


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