The March 3 windstorm was one for the record books and I want to thank you, our customers, for your patience and understanding as we repaired what Mother Nature dealt us.
Hurricane force winds that gusted more than 70 miles per hour, took down trees, downed more than 3,500 power lines, broke more than 800 poles and damaged our equipment from the far western part of our system to the far eastern portion and all parts in between.
Our team monitored the approaching storm and was able to immediately begin the monumental effort of restoring power to more than 400,000 LG&E and KU customers, the third most impactful weather event on our system. While it was challenging for our crews and the crews who supported us, it was especially challenging for those of you who were without electricity.
From the beginning, our employees worked to evaluate the damage, make necessary repairs and restore customers’ power as quickly and safely as possible. Since the wind and ice storms of 2008 and 2009, we have made significant enhancements that helped harden our system including adding new wires, replacing old wooden poles and structures, installing new circuit breakers and substation equipment and managing trees and other vegetation.
We’ve also installed new technologies that immediately detect the location of the outage, isolate the issue and restore service to as many customers as possible and we’ve added new tools that make our customer interactions easier. If not for these upgrades within our system, the storm impacts could have been much worse.
Nearly 5,000 personnel — employees of LG&E and KU, PPL Electric Utilities employees, contractors and mutual assistance workers from surrounding states — worked on this restoration effort on the front line and behind the scenes in many different ways, including responding to 378,000 customer contacts. I am proud of how our employees handled this challenge with resolve and professionalism in spite of extremely difficult conditions. Their tireless efforts were remarkable.
To our customers impacted by this event, I offer my sincerest thanks. You coped admirably with difficult circumstances caused by Mother Nature that disrupted routines and daily lives. You demonstrated patience and offered hospitality and gratitude to our crews. We’re grateful and appreciative of you, and your generosity of spirit made a real difference.
Likewise, we are grateful for the tremendous support and cooperation of our community leaders. We’ve worked in partnership with Emergency Operations teams, fire and police departments, the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center, the Kentucky Horse Park and countless others who supported us as we restored critical electric service and correct what was destroyed.
Thank you once again for weathering the storm with us. We are honored to serve your energy needs.
John R. Crockett III,
LG&E and KU Energy President