Be prepared: Power outages likely with incoming ice storm

We’re likely to see widespread power outages with the potential for an ice storm.
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 12:05 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re likely to see widespread power outages with the potential for an ice storm.

However, there are some things you can do to make sure your appliances and home stay safe.

Todd Houston, with the Lexington Fire Department, says people need to take steps to prepare in advance of this ice storm.

Houston says his crews primarily respond to downed power lines when we get storms, like the one heading our way this week.

“It is probably the biggest threat to our infrastructure and our system,” said Natasha Collins, Kentucky Utilities. “If they go down sometimes they take out our lines with them.”

As tree limbs get weighed down by ice, power lines follow Houston says that can leave homeowners in the dark for hours or days. The resulting outages can lead to dangers within the home as people try to warm up.

Houston says people should avoid turning on gas stoves to heat their home because of the carbon monoxide it can release into the home. Instead, Houston recommends fireplaces and candles, and to keep emergency blankets handy.

“If you use generators, and it’s not integrated, make sure you keep it at least 20 feet away from your house, that way the carbon monoxide doesn’t work its way back into the house,” Houston said.

Collins also warned against improperly heating your home and recommended sealing up spaces in doorways and windows to hold as much warm air in your home as possible.

“Just making sure that where the cold air can seep in and the warm air get out, that you’ve sealed it up so it’s helping your furnace to operate as efficiently as possible,” Collins said.

Houston says now is the time to go out and get what you need before the rains turn to ice.

“The time to prepare is not when it’s hitting you, because then you can’t get out and get what you need,” Houston said. “So, get what you need before it hits and before it happens, and that way you don’t have to go out in the middle of it. If you need help, call 911. Like I said, we’re not close and we’re still gonna be there if you need us for anything.”

Houston says this can pose a danger to his crews as well. He asks that anyone dealing with outages in the coming days be patient and know that they are moving as quickly as they can in the icy conditions.

“If you see a down power line, call 911 and we’ll contact KU but, again, be patient because your power line is not the only power line that’s laying down,” said Houston.

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