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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Andy Location: Pikeville, Cowpen Cr on Jan 19, 2009 at 02:20 PM
    Could it be AEP has laid off and fired the bulk of their local work force, and now there are not enough workers present on any given day to handle anything but a normal workload. Are they too thinly staffed? Are we paying for this with our outrageous power bill price hikes, and big fuel surcharges still being taken out, even though fuel prices seem somewhat stabilized. Seemed like 8 and 9 hours were too long, sith temperatures in the single digits.
  • by Power User Location: Pike Co. on Jan 18, 2009 at 08:32 PM
    Well gues our power bills will go up some more they will haft to pay for overtime for their worker ( which I know deserve it) and like any other company where is the cost going to cover it from the paying people US!!!
  • by Randy Location: Martin on Jan 18, 2009 at 04:49 PM
    AEP needs to upgrade instead of upgrading the cost.
  • by steve Location: irvine on Jan 17, 2009 at 06:03 PM
    Hey where all you global warming green nuts at when all this is going on you people have been snowballed by these goons.
  • by Not Surprised Location: East KY on Jan 16, 2009 at 08:09 PM
    This dont surprise me at all. AEP has been lax for several years in keeping up their power lines and substations. This is just the beginning of power outages if something isnt done to update the maintaince of our power system. I for one have had 32 power outages in the last 24 months.

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