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BLIZZARD HITS REGION

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Emergency shelter set up at Armory for those without power

By Phyllis McLaughlin

Crews are hard at work in Carroll and surrounding counties to restore power to thousands left in the cold and dark from this week's snow and ice storms.

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Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold "Shorty" Tomlinson said Thursday morning (Jan. 29) that the National Guard Armory on State Hwy. 227 in Carrollton was opened Wednesday night as an emergency shelter for those who need a place to stay overnight or a place to warm up during the day.

He said about five people stayed there overnight Wednesday. "I expect the numbers to rise tonight," he said.

Tomlinson said as of Wednesday afternoon, about 1,000 Carroll County households remained without power. Most of those were customers of Owen Electric, but some also belong to the Shelby co-op, he said.

As of Thursday morning, Jan. 29, Owen Electric reports 12,000 customers in Carroll, Owen, Gallatin, Boone, Kenton, Pendleton, Scott and Campbell counties remain without power, down from 18,000 customers at the peak of this week's ice storm.

Owen Electric reports that 30 additional crewmen were brought in from other co-ops to assist in the cleanup and restoration process. For emergency power situations in these areas, such as downed lines or transformer fires, call (800) 372-7612.

Crews for Shelby Energy Cooperative and Davis H. Elliot Construction have been working since Tuesday to restore power to customers in Carroll, Henry, Trimble and Shelby counties. As of Thursday morning, 3,000 Shelby electric customers remained without power, according to a news release. To report downed power lines or outages in these areas, call (800) 292-6585.

For information about other emergency shelters in the region, call the Three Rivers District Health Department at (502) 484-3412.

Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday declared a state of emergency throughout the commonwealth, a move that enables state crews to assist cities and counties coping with power outages and other damage, according to a news release from Beshear's office.

Many surrounding counties  declared Level 1 and Level 2 emergencies, which means motorists risk being ticketed if caught out on the roads.

Carroll County did not issue any such declaration. Tomlinson said Wednesday that he didn't want to hinder anyone who needed to drive to the grocery store or to their jobs, and wouldn't declare an emergency situation "as long as people are taking their time and are able to move. ... If someone needs to go to the grocery store, I don't want to keep them from going."

Schools remained closed in the county, and officials ask that anyone driving use extreme caution as cleanup continues.

Mitchell Perkins, county deputy director of emergency management, said Wednesday that trees were down countywide, some of which caused the power outages.

Residences in the area of English and in the areas of Gilgal Road, Kings Ridge Road and Mound Hill Road were without power Wednesday, as were some residences at Oakwood Estates on Boone Road, Tomlinson said.

On Wednesday, Perkins said several vehicles had slipped off the roads in the county, and said a flatbed tractor-trailer overturned on Interstate 71 earlier that morning. "There were no injuries, thank God."

Tomlinson said he had not heard of any injuries being reported either.

In Carrollton, Perkins said phone and power lines are down all over town, and  Kentucky Utilities crews at this point are checking to make sure none of them are live power lines. "KU is so backlogged right now," he said, adding that repairs will come as soon as possible.