Duke Energy forced to rebuild most of Goshen’s grid, restoration still days out

Storms are forecasted for Friday, and they could bring new outages.
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Most Duke Energy customers who lost power in Wednesday’s severe storm will have it restored by Friday at the latest, according to Duke Energy spokesperson Sally Thelen.

But many in Goshen, where a confirmed-EF2 tornado landed, will have to wait longer. Said Thelen, “Damage in the Goshen area will require much of the system to be rebuilt, pushing restoration into Sunday.”

>> EF2 tornado with maximum wind speed of 130 mph confirmed in Goshen, NWS says

The storm, according to Thelen, destroyed numerous electric transmission and distribution facilities, including substations, utility poles, power lines and other key system components.

All these things will need to be replaced, repaired or rebuilt before power can be restored to individual homes and businesses.

“Many areas that need repair remain inaccessible to utility crews until roads reopen and trees, limbs and debris can be safely removed,” Thelen said.

Wood Street in Goshen Township

And there’s more: Storms are forecasted for Friday, and they could bring new outages.

>> Goshen suffers ‘extensive’ damage, state of emergency declared | Gov. DeWine surveys Goshen tornado damage

Goshen remains under a state of emergency. There is “extensive damage” to hundreds of homes, according to township administrator Stephen Pegram. The majority of the damage is from trees falling on or going through homes and roofs being blown off. Some homes are completely demolished.

“The blessing was the storm came through very quickly, so within a few minutes, [...]it was still raining a little bit, but the sky was clear, which is what often happens in tornado-type events,” Pegram said Wednesday. “So we were able to start sending out emergency personnel right away.”

The storm knocked down more than 100 power poles, and they will all need to be replaced before power can be restored, according to Pegram.

“People who do not have power right now should be making alternate plans,” he said.

At the height of the power outages Wednesday around 6 p.m., 104,000 Duke Energy customers in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky were without power.

Duke Energy crews worked Wednesday evening and overnight into Thursday to bring the outages down to 20,000 as of 5 p.m.

Crews from Duke Energy’s Indiana service territory and contractors from a neighboring utility are deployed to hasten the restoration process.

“Duke Energy will work as quickly as possible to safely restore power,” Thelen said. “In the Goshen area where downed infrastructure is consistent with tornado damage, crews will need to rebuild the electric system. The National Weather Service reported many mature trees were snapped or uprooted.”

Updated restoration times are posted when available on Duke Energy’s online outage map, which updates every 10 minutes.

Even after power is restored, some homes and businesses might be damaged to the extent they still can’t receive power.

Customers are responsible for installation and maintenance of the underground service line, attachment hardware, weatherhead, riser and meterbox. If the riser extends through the roof or eave, installation and maintenance are also the responsibility of the customer.

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