Sunday afternoon, AEP reported the majority of customers still without power are in the Portsmouth and Wellston areas. Additional tree and line crews have been moved into these areas to further assist with restoration, said Terri Flora, AEP Ohio spokesperson.
About 5,000 Scioto County homes remained without power Sunday, while about 1,800 in Pike County were without power, 280 in Adams County and about 2,700 in Jackson County.
Flora said restoration is at about 90 percent and is expected to be complete by today or Tuesday.
“Right now crews are working on individual customers with unique problems or who are served off a device that needs repaired,” Flora said.
Thawing ice falling from trees and electric facilities were creating additional hazards for crews Sunday with the possibility of new power outages in these areas. Crews have encountered several instances of energized fallen lines because lines have been encrusted in ice.
AEP reminds residents never to touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don’t touch anything the fallen line may come in contact with such as trees, fences or puddles of water. These can conduct electricity. AEP also reminds customers that children and pets should be kept away from these potential hazards.
Customers who experience new outages should report those outages to AEP Ohio. Customers who remain without power after their neighborhood has been restored should report they still are without power, Flora said.
Customers are reminded that during emergency power outage restoration, AEP crews clear trees from electric facilities and move on to the next location. AEP does not return to clean up debris resulting from clearing trees and limbs from lines.
Customers who are still without power are reminded to turn off all lights and appliances — including heating systems — to prevent circuit overload situations as power is restored to their homes.
AEP Ohio reported it had more than 1,600 personnel, including contract crews and tree crews, helping with the restoration efforts
Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear ordered the deployment of all Kentucky National Guard troops and some Air National Guard units to aid in the recovery effort from last week’s ice storm, which caused the largest power outage in state history.
Beshear was scheduled to visit and assess damage Sunday in Meade, Harding and Marion counties, making stops in Brandenburg, Elizabethtown and Lebanon.
As the state struggled with the ice storm aftermath, Sgt. Phil Speck of the Kentucky Air National Guard said airmen were set to board a C-130 in Louisville Sunday afternoon to fly to Columbus, Ohio. They were to drive back to Kentucky in the Ohio National Guard’s Humvees and spread out to areas of western Kentucky where they were needed. He said about 100 guardsmen were driving back in 50 Humvees.
Additionally on Sunday, National Guard troops prepared to go door-to-door to check on residents.
“The most basic duty of government is to protect the lives and safety of our people, and we have been pulling out all the stops and will continue to do so,” Beshear told The Associated Press.
With more than 700,000 Kentucky homes and businesses still without electricity, the state was a long way from recovering.
The storm that began in the Midwest has been blamed or suspected in at least 42 deaths, including nine in Arkansas, six each in Texas and Missouri, three in Virginia, two each in Oklahoma, Indiana and West Virginia and one in Ohio. Most were blamed on hypothermia, traffic accidents and carbon monoxide poisoning.