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Versailles community rallies together following weekend power outages

(WKYT)
Published: Jul. 22, 2018 at 10:40 PM EDT
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Kentucky power crews made significant progress in Woodford County Sunday evening, as outages dropped to the 7,000 range, from approximately 10,000 at the start of the day.

Emergency management officials say refrigerated or frozen food should now be discarded for those going on day three of no power. For Versailles residents getting through the outage with the help of a generator, officials say it's important to remember proper ventilation. Generators should not be used inside a garage or in close distance of a home or business, due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Things are looking up now, we've got a generator so we're able to have some fans and get the refrigerator working," said Versailles resident Chris Jackson.

Overall, it was a difficult weekend spent inside hot homes waiting for the power to come back on, or outside cleaning up big messes for a large majority of Woodford County residents.

Red Cross volunteers set up behind the Versailles police station to help, however food and water ran out quickly, leaving only supplies like gloves and buckets.

"We will continue to support the community with bulk items such as clean-up kits, tarps, and stuff like that," said Red Cross coordinator Mike Sewell.

Sewell says crews will be back out sometime on Monday, offering fresh supplies of whatever people need.

The Falling Springs community center offered hot showers to 150-200 people before they closed their doors Sunday evening. The center will reopen at 5:30 a.m. on Monday and will continue to welcome shower-seekers at that time.

The Midway Baptist Church also offered hot showers on Sunday, and their Monday hours are currently under evaluation.

Anyone looking to charge an electronic device will be able to return to the basement level community room of the Woodford County courthouse at 8 a.m. Monday morning, after the charging location closed for the evening at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

As the community came together over the weekend, the Versailles Baptist Church served up free comfort food to anyone looking for a hot meal.

"We've enjoyed a few hot meals but I do have a home without power, no generator, and so we're along with everyone else," said the church's senior pastor, Dr. Michael Cabell.

"Any time something bad strikes in Woodford County, everybody comes together and helps everyone out. It truly is inspiring and it's remarkable, and this has been no different," said Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott.

While crews work to restore power, emergency management officials ask those without it to turn off lights and appliances to avoid causing an electrical surge or fire when the power returns.

At last check, Woodford County leaders said they expect power to be restored for a majority of people by Monday evening, however it may be longer for some.

"They have to go house by house, meter by meter, to make sure that it's safe before they actually re-energize that segment of the power grid," said Emergency Manager Drew Chandler.

Crews are still working to handle debris removal and expect it to be a lengthy process. The Woodford County Recycling Center will open at 8 a.m. Monday morning for normal business hours. The center will waive their normal fees and continue to accept debris for free. The Midway Spring Station Road dump site will also reopen Monday morning. Residents who can not transport their debris are asked to move it to the curb for pick up.

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