More than 3K still without power
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - More than 3,000 Duke Energy customers are still without power Wednesday morning after severe storms hit the Tri-State Monday night with 70 mph winds and heavy lightning.
The widespread, severe damage knocked out service to more than 166,000 customers, prompting a Duke Energy spokeswoman to say these were the worst storm-related outages in a decade.
Duke Energy officials estimate power will not be fully restored to all customers until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday night.
They say the remaining outages often only affect a small number of customers which means it will take more time for crews to determine the issue and restore power.
Outages were reported throughout the region, with a large concentration in the Middletown area. [Map]
Duke Energy crews from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and North Carolina arrived to the area Tuesday to assist local crews with damage assessment and restoration, according to Duke Energy Communications Manager Casey Kroger.
“This is the most significant outage event to impact Duke Energy’s Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky service areas in over a decade,” Kroger said. “We appreciate our customers’ patience as our crews work day and night throughout today’s heat advisory to restore power quickly and safely.
“With today’s temperatures, please stay safe by making arrangements to keep cool and/or stay with family or friends until power is restored.”
Duke Energy crews worked through the night assessing damage and making repairs.
“Out-of-town crews coming from Carolinas and Indiana and we will open two staging areas today to help facilitate restoration efforts. They work around the clock and cycle on and off,” Sally Thelen, a utility spokeswoman, said early Tuesday.
Duke Energy’s website posted an “Important storm restoration update” late Monday blaming the storm damage on a “squall.”
A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed lasting minutes, as opposed to a wind gust, which lasts seconds, according to FOX19 NOW’s Weather Team. A squall is usually associated with heavy rain, thunderstorms or heavy snow.
“The storms that ripped through the Greater Cincinnati area earlier this evening took down numerous trees, powerlines and poles,” Duke Energy’s website states.
“Due to the widespread and severe nature of the damage caused by the squall, we will need to adjust many of our initial estimated times of restoration in the areas hardest hit. Crews will be working through the night to make repairs and further access damage. We will provide restoration updates as the work progresses. Thank you for your patience.”
Michael Glancy returned from the hospital where he was getting cancer treatment to find his home was without power.
“Trying to get what we can because like I said we don’t know when the power is going to come back on,” Glancy said. “We loaded up as much food as we could, or they did because I was still at the house here, but yeah just trying to save what we could. Money-wise and stuff it’s just hard at this point so we tried to save what we can.”
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The storms brought 70 mph winds, heavy lightning, hail 0.75 inches in size and localized flooding, according to FOX19 NOW’s Weather Team.
Damage was widespread across the Tri-State, including downed power lines and trees blocking roads, especially in the Butler County city of Hamilton.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport recorded a peak wind gust of 56 mph at 6:01 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
The weather service is “confident” the storm damage was caused by all straight-line winds, Meteorologist Brandon Peloquin said early Tuesday.
So far, he says they have no plans to go out and do storm damage surveys.
They received reports of some flooding in Butler County, he said, adding that he had no further details.
“The strong winds were the bigger impact we saw, causing some of the damage we saw, downed trees, downed power lines, things of that nature,” he said.
“I think the chance of a tornado happening in southwest Ohio was extremely low last evening. That complex of thunderstorms that moved through was producing mainly straight-line winds.”
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