Emergency officials, National Guard troops and utility crews are working around the clock to clear storm debris and restore power to the thousands of Kentuckians left without electricity from the winter storm that hit eastern and southeastern Kentucky Friday.
The public is strongly encouraged to follow the safety guidelines below offered by Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) to prevent injury, illness or death:
Stay Indoors - If possible stay indoors. If your home or residence is without power, seek shelter with a friend, relative or an identified public shelter listed below.
Carbon Monoxide Safety - Items such as portable generators, propane gas stoves, ovens heated with gasoline all have been used as heat sources indoors, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
* Don't use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement or garage or near a window.
* Don't run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
* Don't burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn't properly vented.
Don't heat your house with a gas oven.
* Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Early symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Carbon monoxide poisoning is treatable.
* If you are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning or if you have questions, call the Poison Control hot line at (800) 222-1222.
The Kentucky National Guard (KyNG) is assisting with cutting and removing trees blocking roadways and hindering utility crews from restoring power. Soldiers have delivered cots to shelters, set up generators for shelters and have been dispatched to assist in transporting citizens to shelters and warming centers in the affected areas.
As of this morning, 16 counties have declared States of Emergency: Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Harlan, Floyd, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley. The cities of Salyersville and Paintsville have also declared.
Although the number of customers impacted has improved, thousands remain without power. The Public Service Commission (PSC) reports, as of Sunday evening, 82,910 households in Eastern Kentucky are still without power. An estimated 6,800 connections are without water (includes residence and
businesses) and 19 shelters remain open in 10 counties:
Bell Co. - Pineville High School
Breathitt Co. - Jackson Fire Department
Floyd Co. - Grace Way United Methodist Church
Johnson Co. - CAP Hagerhill
Knott Co. - Knott Co. Human Service Center
Lawrence Co. - Lawrence Co. High School
Leslie Co. - Hyden Fire Department
Leslie Co. Emergency Operations Center
Wooten Volunteer Fire Department
Letcher Co. - Blackey Senior Citizen Home
Boone Fort Senior Citizen Center
Colson Fire Department
Ermine Senior Citizen Center
Perry Co. - First Presbyterian Church
Pike Co. - Belfry High School
Phelps Senior Citizen Home
Pike Central High School
Pike Co. EXPO Center
Shelby Valley High School
KOIN members are encouraged to keep in contact with the KOIN Coordinator (BarbaraJ.Fox@ky.gov) concerning problems in their area.
Road conditions throughout the state can be found on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Web site at www.511.ky.gov or by calling 511 in Kentucky or 1-866-737-3767 for out-of-state callers.
Additional information and winter safety tips, including winter driving tips, can be found on KyEM's web site at www.kyem.ky.gov.