CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Some residents in Kentucky and West Virginia could be spending several more days without power as crews work to fix broken utility poles and downed lines from an ice storm.
Appalachian Power said about 39,000 customers in southern West Virginia were without electricity Sunday. Some homes have been without power since back-to-back ice storms Feb. 11 and Feb. 15. The utility planned to use helicopters and drones Sunday to identify problems in remote areas.
More than 50%, or about 13,000, of the utility’s customers in Wayne County were without power Sunday. An additional 10,000 customers had no service in Cabell County.
Outages peaked at 97,000 customers in southern West Virginia after the latest storm hit.
Power to most customers is expected to be restored by Tuesday, the utility said. Repairs were needed in at least 1,400 separate locations. Crews estimated that 550 broken poles and about 2,400 spans of wire must be replaced to return all customers to service.
The utility had more than 3,200 workers in the field trying to restore power, and 27 mobile bunkhouses were set up at a mall in Barboursville to house them. Area hotels also were filled to capacity.
In Kentucky, about 33,000 customers remained without service Sunday, including more than 14,000 Kentucky Power customers in the eastern part of the state, according to PowerOutage.us, a website that tracks outages. The remainder of the outages were spread out among various electric cooperatives.
Most of the remaining Kentucky Power outages were in Boyd and Lawrence counties. More than 2,000 Kentucky Power employees, foresters and assessors were working to restore power. The utility estimated power to most customers should be back on by Wednesday, but later in some areas of Carter County.
More than 59,000 of the utility’s customers lost power in eastern Kentucky after the latest storm hit.