Nearly 20,000 Kentucky Power customers in eastern Kentucky were still without electricity and it could be another week or longer before some of them have their power restored, the company said Saturday morning.
At the peak, 59,204 customers were out of power after the second ice storm in a week and with more than 68% restored, approximately 19,500 customers remained without power.
Two people died in Boyd County because of the cold weather.
One death was Thursday, when an 86-year-old Ashland woman died after spending three to four days in her home without electricity, said Boyd County coroner Mark Hammond. He said the woman’s family had come get her to take her to a warmer location on Thursday, and her heart went into arrhythmia. Paramedics took her to Kings Daughters Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
A 77-year-old Boyd County woman died from hypothermia on Wednesday.
Boyd, Carter and Lawrence counties were the hardest hit with extensive damage to the circuits providing electricity in those areas, the company said.
“The magnitude of damage in this area is proving to be unprecedented and total reconstruction of destroyed circuits is necessary,” Kentucky Power’s website said in an update Saturday morning. “Weather is finally permitting helicopters to access damage to miles of circuit.”
More than 2,000 Kentucky Power employees, foresters and assessors were working to get power restored.
Priority has been laced on customers who remain out since the first storm came through but the work is difficult and time-consuming, the company said, and only affects a few customers on each outage. But resources were being devoted to these customers, including strike teams made up of workers with specific and broad skills in order to quickly and safely restore smaller outages without waiting for additional assistance.
Boyd County had 8,770 customers without power. Most customers in the city of Ashland will be restored by Monday night, while the remaining areas of Boyd County will be 50% restored by Wednesday and 75% restored by Friday.
Carter County had 3,119 customers without power. Most customers in Grayson will be restored by Monday night with remaining areas 50% restored by Wednesday and 75% restored by Friday.
Johnson County had 400 customers without power and most of Lawrence County, with 5,000 without power, should be 50% restored by Wednesday and 75% by Friday.
Most of the 816 customers without power in Greenup County should have theirs back by Monday night, Kentucky Power said.
In Johnson and Morgan counties, there were 485 customers and 229 customers, respectively, without electricity Friday, and Kentucky Power said most of its customers in the Paintsville and West Liberty areas should have their power restored by this evening.