(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — In the last three months, Kentucky faced ice storms, flooding, thunderstorms and tornados, some of which are now considered part of the worst tornado event in the commonwealth’s history. While these severe weather events spotlight Kentucky’s resilience, they are also a reminder of the variable weather conditions that can occur at any time. LG&E and KU join the National Weather Service and organizations across the country in recognizing March as Severe Weather Preparedness Month. The utilities encourage customers to recognize the risks of severe weather and to make a plan to stay as safe as possible.
“If there’s anything we know about severe weather, it’s that it can be unpredictable and even more so during seasonal transitions like the one approaching, from winter to spring,” said Steve Woodworth, director of Distribution System Operations and Planning for LG&E and KU. “As a utility we take steps to prepare year ‘round, and with safety for everyone being our top priority, we encourage all of our customers to do the same.”
LG&E and KU offer the following tips:
- Make a plan: Visit www.ready.gov to know your risk, take action and learn more. You’ll find details on how to build an emergency supply kit, which should include items such as prescription medicines, a weather radio, important phone numbers, a first aid kit, flashlights and extra batteries.
- Be informed: Download the LG&E and KU mobile app before inclement weather strikes. (See QR code below.) During outage situations, customers can use the utilities’ mobile app, available from the Apple and Google stores, to access and keep track of near real-time outage information, report their outage and more. Customers can also access the outage map online.
In times of widespread power outages, general restoration information and safety tips are provided on LG&E and KU’s website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram page. There’s also an informative video series about common outage questions on the utilities’ YouTube page.
- Stay safe: Always assume any downed wire is an energized power line. Stay away and report it immediately. LG&E customers should call 502-589-1444 and KU customers should call 800-981-0600. Visit lge-ku.com/storm for more important safety information.
System built to withstand
LG&E and KU’s system is built to withstand extreme conditions. Ongoing maintenance and system investments, like the expansion of automated equipment, has prevented more than 273,000 customer interruptions since the automated equipment began being installed in 2017.
When severe weather moves across Kentucky, the utilities are prepared to respond quickly and safely to severe weather impacts and reliably meet customers’ energy demands. Before severe weather strikes, LG&E and KU prepare by monitoring weather conditions, placing field crews and business partners on alert and readying operating equipment and material.
When responding to major power outages across the utilities’ service territory, priority is first given to critical-care organizations, such as hospitals, fire and police stations and nursing homes. LG&E and KU crews also focus on restoring service to schools, airports and other utility infrastructure, such as water and sewer pumping stations.
LG&E and KU must first repair any critical infrastructure that might be damaged, like transmission lines and substations that carry electricity into neighborhoods and commercial areas before power can be restored to those locations. Crews then move to restore neighborhoods and issues that affect power to individual streets and homes.
In making repairs, the goal is to fix problems that will restore power to large groups of customers simultaneously, so hundreds or even thousands of customers come back online at one time. A significant amount work takes place behind the scenes and by the system itself. Sometimes service can be rerouted by operators in the control centers or through automated equipment LG&E and KU have installed along the system that immediately isolates damage and minimizes the number of customers affected. A brief “blink” of service may actually be the system preventing customers from experiencing a longer power outage.
LG&E and KU participate in mutual assistance partnerships with a collection of utilities who provide access to invaluable resources and hundreds of crews from multiple states. These partners offer mutual assistance support, and LG&E and KU crews respond likewise to restore customers’ power following severe weather events.
Before sending crews, LG&E and KU always ensure there are ample resources on hand for everything from routine maintenance to emergency situations. The company takes many factors into consideration, including the weather heading toward its service territories, when allocating resources.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve more than 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 333,000 natural gas and 429,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 566,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.
Editor's Note: Click here to access the downloadable QR code to the LG&E and KU app for use with your story. (PNG, 59k)
For further information: call the LG&E and KU media hotline at 502–627–4999.