More than 93% of the customers who lost power at the peak of last month’s massive ice storm have had their electric service restored, according to new figures compiled by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC).
Information gathered from all electric providers in the state show that 49,755 customers were without power as of yesterday morning. That is about 6.5% of the 769,353 customers who lost power at the peak of the storm on Jan. 29. Most of the customers still without power are in western Kentucky, where the storm damage was the most severe.
The outage affected 35.7% of Kentucky’s approximately 2.2 million electric customers. The latest numbers include utilities within the PSC’s jurisdiction as well as rural electric cooperatives within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) system and municipal utilities. Information on the electric cooperatives was provided by the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives and on the municipal utilities by the Municipal Electric Power Association of Kentucky.
PSC Chairman David Armstrong said the PSC will continue to monitor restoration efforts by the utilities within its jurisdiction until they are completed. “I understand the frustration of those people who are still without power,” he said. “It has taken an unprecedented restoration effort to get us this far, and there is still much to be done.” Armstrong said the PSC will review how well utilities responded in the aftermath of the storm and will make its finding public. The PSC also will review its own disaster response procedures.
“There are lessons in this experience for the PSC and the utilities we regulate,” Armstrong said. “We need to identify what we all can do better the next time we have to deal with a major disruption of utility services.”