Co-ops from 11 states now helping power restoration in Kentucky
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The mutual aid response to power restoration in Kentucky continues to grow, as two more states have sent crews to sister co-ops in the state.
With the addition of co-op crews from Indiana and Arkansas, co-ops from 11 different states are now assisting, not including the crews from within Kentucky who are also traveling to neighboring cooperatives.
With damage as widespread as any natural disaster in Kentucky electric cooperative history, co-ops are making steady progress restoring power.
At the height of the windstorm on Friday, more than 300,000 consumer-members lost power in Kentucky. As of 3 p.m. on Monday, about 34,000 members remain without power.
With the ground saturated from heavy rains, heavy trucks have had difficulty accessing damaged infrastructure.
About 475 personnel have arrived from more than 60 sister co-ops. Coordinated by Kentucky Electric Cooperatives, the statewide association of co-ops, crews are working here from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Because the national network of transmission and distribution infrastructure owned by electric cooperatives is built to federal standards, line crews from any co-op in America can arrive on the scene ready to provide emergency support, secure in their knowledge of the system’s engineering.
In addition, several co-ops are receiving assistance from other utilities within the state, as well as hundreds of contract crews.
Co-ops report more than 600 broken utility poles and thousands of power lines down across the 117 counties served by co-ops across the commonwealth.
“Though co-ops have made steady progress restoring nearly 90 percent of the outages since Friday, this last 10 percent will likely be the most challenging and time consuming,” said Chris Perry, president and CEO of Kentucky Electric Cooperatives. “Co-op staff take these outages personally and share the urgency of co-op members to restore service as quickly as possible. The messages of support from the membership are so encouraging.”
Kentucky-based United Utility Supply Cooperative is assisting with storm response to cooperatives across the region. Its Cooperative Distribution Center in Louisville is responding with transformers, power lines, poles and all other materials needed to outfit an electric utility.
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