Wind storm causes damage, power outages

Published 1:48 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

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The third day of March roared like a lion into Winchester and Clark County last Friday, with high winds downing trees and causing property damage and power outages.

The forecast called for severe thunderstorms and high winds. The area was under a tornado watch for the majority of the afternoon and a high wind warning late Friday night.

According to the National Weather Service office in Louisville, “an intense low-pressure system produced severe weather and historic gradient winds…Wind gusts of 60 – 80 mph produced widespread wind damages and power outages.”

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Clark County Public Schools canceled in-person learning and had an NTI day Friday. City and county government offices closed early in the afternoon. Many local businesses did the same.

The majority of the power outages were fixed by press time Monday, with Clark Energy Co-Op still reporting a few isolated outages.

Gov. Andy Beshear reported that five Kentuckians died due to issues caused by the storm system.  In other regions of the commonwealth, flooding and tornadoes occurred.

Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

Local utility employees were also working around the clock over the weekend and into the new week.

As of approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, when calling LG&E – KU Energy, business customers, landlord, and builders were met with the following response upon choosing their selection:

“We are temporarily suspending disconnections for non-payment due to the March 3rd serious weather event that left many of our customers without power. All of our representatives are assisting customers with emergency and outage information. Please call back another day or use our mobile app, MyAccount, or other self-serve options.”

Representatives of Winchester Municipal Utilities were largely unavailable, owing to examining potential or ongoing problems.