Pioneer Electric crews in Kentucky helping to restore power

Published 4:32 pm Friday, January 30, 2009

Pioneer Electric has dispatched repair crews to help restore power after a massive ice storm that has left nearly the entire state of Kentucky without power. Crews from both Pioneer’s Greenville and Selma office left Wednesday and are expected to work for the next seven to 10 days helping to restore power to more than 500,000 customers in the state.

Two, three-man crews will assist a Bluegrass Energy district office in Lawrenceburg Kentucky.

“The six men, Louis Ulmer, Steven Neighbors, Johnny Anthony, Hunter Barrow, Chris Turner and Heath Peavy, have all assisted in relief efforts before and know what to expect during this time,” said Angela Green, Communications Specialist for Pioneer Electric. “They are experienced in power line repairs and tree trimming, all crucial to the restoration efforts.”

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The weight of more than half an inch of ice and a layer of snow wreaked havoc on Lexington-area power lines and tree branches that are contributing to a record number of outages in the state.

The crews left in bucket trucks and service pick-up trucks packed with food and supplies.

Pioneer’s Vice President of Engineering and Operations Jason Settle said: “Our guys are pretty understanding of the work conditions, they arrived in Kentucky safely and said the temperature there was around 13 degrees. Our crews are fortunate that they can stay in hotels with power during this storm, in previous relief efforts crews have had to sleep in tents.”

Pioneer officials will be monitoring the situation to determine if more assistance will be needed in the days to come. Pioneer Electric is part of a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 electric cooperatives that come to each other’s aid in times of disasters.