Friday, January 30 2009
According to Vectren there are still 52,000 customers without power down from 55,000 Tuesday evening. The main roads are passable but side roads are still covered with ice and snow. Although the temperatures should improve over the weekend the long range forecast is predicting snow for Monday February 2nd.
Left in the dark
Harsh conditions slow feverish work to restore power
Vectren officials are hoping they’ve “turned the corner,” company spokeswoman Chase Kelley said this morning as 52,000 customers remained without power, down from 55,000 Thursday evening.
"We had high priority outages that diverted our crews Thursday — fire stations, levee pumps, I know in Boonville there was an issue with the water plant," she said. "We’re still looking at some health care facilities and schools, but we think we’ve turned the corner and will hit larger residential pockets today."
With that in mind, during a news conference Thursday Chapman, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel and Vanderburgh County Commissioners President Troy Tornatta urged residents without power and heat to seek alternate shelter.
"We want to emphasize how serious it is," Chapman said. "We are expecting that outages will continue well into next week."
He said about 700 to 800 crew members are at work in the
Chapman also reminded property owners they are responsible for repairing any damage where electric service enters a structure.
"Electric service could be restored in your area, but if there is damage where power comes into your home you still may not have power," he said.
Weinzapfel urged residents without heat to "seriously consider" not staying overnight in their homes but to either seek shelter or check with their friends, family and neighbors.
Emily Zander, spokeswoman for the Red Cross of Southwestern Indiana, agreed. "We are asking that (people without power) play it safe rather than sorry," she said.
The Red Cross has opened four shelters — Camp Reveal at 1040 East Boonville-New Harmony Road; its' office at Stockwell Road and the Lloyd Expressway; Washington Avenue Church of Christ on Washington Avenue; and the Vanderburgh 4-H Center on Boonville-New Harmony Road. Zander said the numbers were holding steady at 500 occupants between the four locations. She said she can't guarantee that everyone who comes will get a cot, but "they're going to be warm, and they're going to be fed three meals a day."
The Red Cross is asking anyone planning to stay at one of its shelters to bring blankets, pillows, a change of clothes and any medications they might need.
The National Guard is available to pick up residents and transport them to one of the shelters. They were out until 3 a.m. Thursday, and then started again four hours later.
Many places in the
Weinzapfel urged people with power to avoid using extension cords to share electricity with homes without power because of the risk of fire or electric shock.
The city and county remain under a state of emergency. Several roads remained blocked by downed trees Thursday, including
More than 100 locations still have trees partially blocking major roads. Weinzapfel said the hope was those could be addressed by the weekend, but it may take several weeks to clear downed trees from side streets.