Schools Close as Power Restoration Continues

by Gabe Bullard on August 14, 2011

The first day of classes at Jefferson County Public Schools has been postponed due to power outages.

Saturday’s storm knocked out power to about 30 schools and dozens of traffic lights, making teaching and transportation difficult.

“With the uncertainty, the best thing to do is what’s certain,” says Superintendent Donna Hargens. “Our top priority is to make students safe so they can learn and we will make up the day.”

No decision has been made on classes for Tuesday, but schools do have priority for power restoration, behind hospitals and police and fire stations.

“During the ice storm and the wind storm we had 80 schools down, to give you an idea of the complexity of this. We’re not as bad as we were in those instances,” says director of facilities Mike Mulheirn.

As of 2:00, 59,000 LG&E customers in Jefferson County were without power. In southern Indiana, 12,000 Duke Energy customers were without power.

LG&E/KU Outage Map
Duke Outage information

Utility crews have been called in from other states and LG&E is still assessing the extent of the damage.

“We are gonna hit it hard, fast and aggressively. That’s why we’re pulling every resource we can from that wide array of states. We’re on it. We’ve got all the mutual aid communications open and we’re getting what we’re asking for,” says LG&E Senior Vice President Chris Hermann.

Hermann says it’s too early to give a more precise estimate, but power could be restored to most customers by the middle of the week.

An LG&E spokesman says the company will try to recoup the cost of recovery through a rate increase. LG&E is currently seeking a rate increase to cover the cost of bringing power plants into compliance with federal regulations.

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