Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky has made major progress in restoring power in southern Indiana and Ohio after powerful storms raked the region on Wednesday. A confirmed EF2 tornado destroyed much of the electrical infrastructure around Goshen, Ohio, 10 miles northeast of Cincinnati.
Duke Energy expects most of its customers affected to be back online today, although new storms forecast for today may soon cause more outages, the utility said.
Duke Energy also announced it was providing $100,000 to support the hardest-hit areas around Goshen, Ohio, where an EF2 tornado caused considerable damage.
“The damage we’ve seen throughout the region and especially in Clermont County is devastating,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “While our crews are working day and night to restore power, we know this is only the first part of the rebuilding process. Today, we are increasing our support in the hardest-hit areas through Foundation grants, which will help these communities start to recover.”
The grants, which total $100,000, will be distributed to the following organizations that will assist with disaster recovery and support those displaced by the storm, including The American Red Cross, Central & Southern Ohio; Clermont Seniors; Goshen Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association; Goshen Lion’s Club; Matthew25 Ministries; the Miami Township Police Association, and Team Rubicon.
“Taking care of our neighbors in need has always been an important focus of the Lions Club of Goshen,” said Andy Evans, president, Lions Club of Goshen. “With Duke Energy’s generous support, we’re able to fast track relief for many displaced residents from the recent storms. It’s reassuring to have a partner like Duke Energy to help our communities recover from these devastating natural disasters.”
This week was the second time in 2 months that storm damage has ravaged the Cincinnati area.
Crews, working day and night, have reduced outages from 104,000 at the height of the storm to 20,000 as of 5 p.m. Thursday and 8,000 on Friday at noon CT. Extra crews from Duke Energy’s Indiana service territory and contractors from a neighboring utility have been deployed to help speed up the assessment and restoration process.
In the hardest-hit areas around Goshen the National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado with estimated maximum wind gusts up to 130 mph along a 2.5-mile path. Crews will need to rebuild the electric system. The National Weather Service reported many mature trees were snapped or uprooted.
The storm also destroyed numerous electric transmission and distribution facilities, including substations, utility poles, power lines and other key system components – all of which will need to be replaced, repaired or rebuilt before power can be restored to individual homes and businesses.
Restoration in this hardest-hit area is projected to take several days, likely into Sunday evening. Many areas that need repair remain inaccessible to utility crews until roads reopen and trees, limbs and debris can be safely removed.