LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - LG&E officials say electric power has been restored to more than half of the homes and businesses that lost power in Sunday's wind storm.
As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, LG&E's media hotline reported that 162,000 customers have had their power restored, while another 139,000 remain in the dark. Getting power to those customers could still take another week or longer.
"This is a tough one to hit," said LG&E spokesman Chip Keeling. "I mean 300,000 people were affected. We believe we have the right resources. We believe we are on pace and we are going to get this done. But, it takes time."
Keeling said 8,200 power lines are down and nearly 500 utility poles are broken.
Thursday evening, the American Red Cross opened a 24-hour shelter at the Louisville Gardens at Sixth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard. The shelter offers food for the hungry and cots to sleep on. The shelter is also available for people who need to recharge medical devices such as nebulizers and sleep apnea machines.
Metro Louisville officials also announced that three suburban government centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays to allow residents to recharge medical devices. Those centers are the Southwest Government Center at 7219 Dixie Highway, the East Government Center at 200 Juneau Drive in Middletown and the Central Government Center at 7201 Outer Loop.
Three Louisville businesses have donated a total of $55,000 to Dare To Care to buy food to help in the emergency. Brown-Forman Corporation and UPS each donated $25,000 and Waste Management donated $5,000 according to city officials.
"These companies have proven once again that they are model corporate citizens," Mayor Jerry Abramson said. "This money will, literally, help save lives by providing families with food."
The Red Cross has announced it is down to a one-day supply of blood and is requesting donations. Blood centers will be set up at two locations Thursday: 510 E. Chestnut Street and 291 N. Hubbards Lane. The centers will be open between 12 Noon and 7 p.m. on Thursday.
A special blood drive is set for Friday at the Executive East Hotel at 978 Phillips Lane. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.