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How to Prepare for Ice Storm Outages

Many Hopkinsville residents may remember the ice storm of January, 2009. This storm effected 10 states and produced power outages for over 2 million people, including over 500,000 in Kentucky alone. Some HES customers in the city were without power for 5 days.

Falling trees and branches created huge problems

The approaching winter storm does not appear to be of the same magnitude as the 2009 storm. But it is worth thinking over your preparations if the worst happens. It is IMPORTANT for HES customers to understand that in an outage caused by severe weather, despite HES crews working 12-16 hour days, it may still take DAYS before your power is restored. Repairs must always be made to main feeder lines and secondary distribution lines first. These repairs can take hours or days depending on the severity of the damage. Only when these lines are repaired can HES crews begin restoring power to individual neighborhoods.

HES customers using medical devices that require electricity need to have one of two plans in place in the event of a long-term outage. They must either be able to produce their own electricity (batteries or a generator), or be able to move to a different location (family or friend’s house, public shelters, etc.) that has power. Hoping that your power is restored quickly is not a realistic plan. As discussed above, despite the best efforts of HES crews, it may be days before power is restored to your home.

For all customers, the primary concerns during a long-term outage are indoor heating and food preservation. Indoor heating can be achieved using kerosene or other fuel heaters, or by running a generator to power small space heaters. It is important to read all generator and equipment manuals to insure safe operation. To maintain refrigerated and frozen food, it is best to not open the refrigerator and/or freezer

Anyone not working outside was answering the phone

doors unnecessarily, which allows cold air to escape. If the outdoor temperature is low enough, food that requires refrigeration may be moved outside into a garage or porch.

During an outage, HES typically receives hundreds of calls alerting us to the outage. Before calling, it is best to check our website and Facebook page for the latest information and updates regarding the outage. For more information about how HES responds to a power outage, click the link below.

HES Outage Information