LG&E says power has been restored to nearly everyone - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LG&E says power has been restored to nearly everyone

LG&E says its operations are back to normal and that power has been restored to just about everyone.  Just after the storm, LG&E said it would take 10 to 14 days to restore power.  It's been 10 days since the storm.

Connie Austin lives in Windy Hills near St. Matthews, and says, "It's fantastic, I feel like I'm part of the 21st Century again....we were told by the workers in the area that we were the last to come up."

Residents in the St. Matthews, Lyndon, and Anchorage areas are the last to have their power restored.  LG&E says it's almost back to normal, spokesman Chip Keeling saying, "We have pockets of like one house or two that we'll be getting back to, but for the most part we're back to normal operations as of 8'o-clock this morning."

Immediately after the wind storm, 301,000 LG&E customers were without power.  That's almost 70% of its customers.  More than 9,000 wires were down and 555 utility poles had to be replaced.

Austin says, "I'm sure there were a lot of people who were frustrated, but from what I could tell with the outtage, they worked as hard as they could.  We kept seeing the trucks getting closer and closer and we were happy when they got over here."

Extra crews were called in from twelve states to help restore power.  2600 workers from as far away as Florida and Kansas came here.  Austin says she appreciates their hard work:  "I heard many of them hadn't seen their families since like 30 days since they had been helping with Gustav and then coming up to help us with this."

LG&E says it will take about 60 days to tabulate the cost of the repairs.  But the utility company says it will be more than a storm in 2004 when 146,000 customers lost power, about half the number this time.

Keeling says, "That cost of that restoration was about 15 and a half million, that related to an average bill of about a 25-cent increase, 25 cents on a monthly bill, so this storm will be more than that, I can tell you that."

Even though power has been restored, the cleanup is far from over.  There is still debris all over the Metro area, and some homes suffered significant damage.

It will likely be more than a year before LG&E customers start paying for the storm.  The rate increase has to work its way through the state regulartory process.

But the windstorm of '08 is eventually going cost all of us more money.

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