Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Update from Duke Energy

For those still dealing with power problems (and are still able to access online information), here's a communication from Duke Energy late yesterday:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I hope you will be able to see this message, but fear that some will not. I will do my best to get updates to you as they become available, and so if any recipients are aware of one or more members of either Council or the Commission whom you believe will not have been in a position to view this note, please respond and I’ll try to make contact another way.

We are dealing with an unprecedented situation in the Midwest. Today – Monday, September 15, 2008 – is a day of assessment from the Company’s perspective, and continues to be as of this writing. We know that there is service at the hospitals and other critical health care facilities in the area – these are always our top priority. There has been much interaction with the Emergency Management personnel in all of our Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky service areas; there has also been communication with the two Governors’ offices to clear the way for vehicles coming to, or returning to, the service area to assist with restoration.

At the peak of damage last evening, we had approximately 700,000 customers out of service in Ohio and Kentucky combined. As of this morning, we were down to 590,000 known outages, about 90,000 of which were in Kentucky. We will continue working around the clock to restore service, and all available crews are being summoned to assist with restoration. Some of these will be coming from the Carolinas, and still others will be those who had been dispatched to go the gulf for help with the impacts of Hurricane Ike – the latter are now being recalled. By the time everyone gets here tomorrow, we should have a much more thorough understanding of the extent of the damage. Meanwhile, the people on the ground here at the time of the initial storm strike are already working to restore service and have made some headway today.

We urge customers to contact us if they believe they are experiencing an outage, at 513-651-4182 or at 1-800-543-5599. We further urge that you inform any constituents who may contact you that a downed power line is a potentially deadly hazard, and that they should not go near it. Food left in a closed refrigerator is good for up to 8 hours, and that in a freezer good for 24; still, the old saw is true: if in doubt, throw it out.

More information will follow as I get it.

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