Louisville city leaders, LG&E provide update on storm response efforts

The storm impacted 340,000 customers, downed more than 2,500 power lines and broke more than 230 utility poles.
Published: Mar. 5, 2023 at 9:16 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Mayor Craig Greenberg updated the community on the city’s response efforts to recover from Friday’s historic wind storm.

“The men and women of Metro Government, and our partners, are continuing to work around the clock to keep our community safe and recover from Friday’s storms,” Greenberg said. “We’re making tremendous progress, but there is still a lot to do. As we work to clear debris, open roads, and support LG&E getting electricity restored, we need to continue to take care of each other and look out for our neighbors. As always, I thank all the hard-working men and women out there keeping us safe.”

On Sunday, Louisville Gas & Electric reported significant progress, saying 72,000 out of 145,000 impacted customers have had their power restored.

And thanks to Greenberg’s emergency order and other local leaders, more help is on the way.

“Through our mutual agreement partnerships we’ve secured an additional 15 hundred line technicians and support personnel from utilities from surrounding states, explained LG&E and Kentucky Utilities Media Relations Manager Liz Pratt.

According to a release, those 1,500 line technicians and support staff from utility companies in the surrounding states have arrived in Louisville and are assisting with the massive, all-hands-on-deck, multi-day restoration event.

Pratt says estimated restoration times are starting to become available but there is a prioritization process that comes into play.

“We will first restore critical services in our community. This includes hospitals, fire and police stations, airports and nursing homes,” Pratt said. “Next, we will restore power safely to as many customers as we can and then we will repair any damaged equipment.”

The storm impacted 340,000 customers, downed more than 2,500 power lines and broke more than 230 utility poles, according to Pratt.

Greenberg said Friday’s storm was the third most significant weather event in 20 years in terms of total system impacts and the number of customers affected, ranking behind the 2009 ice storm and 2008 wind storm.

For those looking to clear up their yards and streets, Greenberg said Louisville Metro Public Works is on it.

“We are opening up seven locations around the entire city where people will be able to bring their yard debris starting tomorrow morning at 8am,” Greenberg said.

While local leaders are working to restore the city, groups like Dare to Care and Bullitt Central High School are looking to take care of people’s immediate needs.

“Our first response is to ensure again those areas that are hardest hit and we are going to disperse our mobile pantry, which will be going to three locations starting tomorrow,” Dare to Care Food Bank’s Vincent James said.

“We want to help anybody who is trying to recover from this storm cleanup and get their power back on and be able to have a hot meal and take home some things that they can eat for the next couple of days,” Bullitt Central High School’s Christy Hardin said.

While Pratt said she knows going without power can be frustrating, she asks that people continue to be patient as they work to resolve this issue.

“We understand the significant impact this causes customers who are without power and we are working around the clock,” Pratt said. “This is what we’re referring to as an all-hands-on-deck approach to get power restored to all of our affected customers.”

Residents are reminded to stay away from downed power lines. Estimated restoration times are starting to become available for customers who remain without power. Access LG&E’s Outage Map by clicking or tapping here.

“I want to thank our customers for their continued patience” LG&E and KU Chief Operating Officer Lonnie Bellar said. “This is the third largest storm that we’ve experienced in the last 20 years and our crews are working as safely and quickly as possible to restore service to each of our customers. While we have made significant progress in this restoration effort, the tedious part is still ahead of us. Please watch the outage map on our website or the mobile app for the latest updates. Most importantly, please remain safe and stay away from downed lines.”