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Strong winds leave thousands without power across Kentucky

A pedestrian walks down South Fourth Street as a thunderstorm eases up on Tuesday, July 3.
A pedestrian walks down South Fourth Street as a thunderstorm eases up on Tuesday, July 3.

Thousands of Kentuckians were still without power as of midday Thursday following strong winds that made their way across the region Wednesday night and into the early hours of the morning.

According to National Weather Service meteorologist C.J. Padgett, all the wind damage residents are experiencing today took place before thunderstorms reached the area.

“We’ve seen quite a bit of isolated wind damage this morning from wind gusts pretty much from 50 to 60 miles per hour, but also had some isolated wind gusts of close to 70 miles per hour last night,” Padgett said.

The winds snapped tree limbs and downed power lines.

According to LG&E, there were a little more than 5,000 customers without power in Louisville and the rest of their service region at 11 a.m. Thursday. By 2 p.m., it was down to about 3,200 customers. 

Some Jefferson County Public Schools were without power as of 9 a.m. according to a release sent out by the district. Those schools included:

  • Wellington Elementary
  • Seneca High School (which houses the Binet School)
  • Goldsmith Elementary
  • Kammerer Middle School
  • Liberty Middle School
  • Wilder Elementary 

“School is in session in each of these buildings,” JCPS spokesperson Carolyn Callahan said in a press release. “We are also delivering hotspots so the schools all have phone access.”

Statewide, there were about 10,000 people without power by noon, according to information from PowerOutage.US.

The central and southeast regions of the state also experienced several wildfires after a red flag warning was issued for eastern Kentucky. The red flag warning was lifted late Wednesday night.

“With the dry air that we had, also combined with the dry vegetation so far and the really gusty wind, that elevated our risk for fire danger yesterday,” Padgett said.

There were 58 fires reported across the state Wednesday, 39 of which remain uncontrolled according to John Mura the director of communications for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. 

Of those fires, the most serve took place in Grayson County near Nolin Lake, where seven structures were burned to point of being destroyed. 

Muir said no one was harmed in any of the fires.

As power restoration efforts continue statewide, Padgett said people should assume all downed power lines are live and keep a safe distance.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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