Visiting utility crews roughing it as they work to restore power

By Andrew Douglas, WMC-TV, Memphis 
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Wednesday afternoon, Louisville Metro government said that 152,000 people are still without power across the city. The American Red Cross has opened a 24-hour shelter at the Louisville Gardens, 525 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., for people who need food and a place to sleep. As Andrew Douglas from our station, WMC in Memphis, reports about 1,100 people are on the streets trying to restore power working 16-hour shifts.

About 500 people from across Kentucky and from out of state are staying in Kentuckiana. These are the same people sent to the Gulf Coast to restore power after hurricanes. Now their focus is here as they work through the damage to turn the lights back on.

"Relief, it was excitement, exhilaration," said Joseph Collie, whose power was restored Wednesday.

Collie welcomed power crews with open arms, but others haven't been so nice.

"Everybody gets a little tired and grumpy when their lifestyles changed all of a sudden," said Wayne Estes of Kentucky Utilities.

Power crews from as far away as Florida, Kansas and Pennsylvania are working 16-hour shifts restoring power to thousands roughing it. IF you are without power, you think you are roughing it. While most of the crews from out of town are sleeping in individual cots and sleeping bags, but others insist on roughing it underneath the stars.

"These are pretty tight arraignments, but people pretty much customized the way they slept," Estes said about the crews that will sleep at Tom Sawyer State Park until power is back on and they are on their way back home. In the meantime, it is 16 hours in the field everyday giving people what they want.

"Television," said Collie laughing. "I'm a television freak so that's my first priority."

Food has been provided to power crews at Tom Sawyer Park and Broadbent Arena at the fairgrounds. They are putting in long hours and staying in modest conditions to restore your power. If you are still without power, give them time and they will get to you.