WRECC details recovery efforts following March 3 storm

WRECC Senior Director of Communications Kim Phelps said the biggest obstacle the corporation faced was how widespread the damage was.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:52 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation announced on March 10 they had restored power to the last of their customers. This means that all power has been restored in Warren County following the March 3 storm.

“We had 433 broken poles across the service territory,” said WRECC Senior Director of Communications Kim Phelps. “We had just over 300 during the tornado. So this was a big storm, there was a lot of work to do.”

Phelps said the biggest obstacle the corporation faced was how widespread the damage was, with 45,000 without power across eight counties.

“We are a rural electric cooperative, which means there’s all sorts of terrain. There’s places that you can’t get into with the truck, there are wooded areas, hills, rivers, waterways, there’s all sorts of different natural formations that we have to work around,” Phelps said.

When it came to deciding what groups to help first, Phelps said crews looked at who they could reach and what repairs would serve the greatest amount of people.

“You start with transmission lines and the outages that will pick up the most people the quickest. We really go from biggest, down to the smallest,” Phelps said. “There is an order as far as circuits, the way those have to be done. Then when we get toward the end, we could be replacing a pole that would just keep one or two houses back their electrical service.”

With power restored, Phelps says the WRECC’s next move will be to clear fallen wires and poles from neighborhoods.

“People should know if you have debris, such as a downed pole or some lines that are still in your yard, we will be back to get those starting today and we’ll be going through the service territory throughout the week,” Phelps said.

Phelps says the corporation treats every instance as a learning opportunity, but overall everything went smoothly with recovery.

“We’re very happy with how this storm went in terms of how things progressed and how they were done. We think our guys and our visiting crews were wonderful and we were very, very thankful for them,” Phelps said.

The WRECC asks those in Warren County to call 270-843-9710 to report any downed lines or outages, while those outside the county are asked to call 1-888-604-432. For more information on outages visit the WRECC website.