Power issues test patience as crews plan to work through weekend

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Photos and video from across the Miami Valley of ice and the damage caused by an ice storm on Nov. 15.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Utility crews plan to continue working through the weekend to restore power to thousands of customers affected by Thursday morning’s ice storms that caused damage, outages and other effects that will last for several days.

As many 78,000 of the DP&L’s customers were affected by this week’s ice storm that was linked to one traffic death, took down trees, utility poles and power lines, and closed roads.

Power issues continued at one Dayton Public Schools building Friday after that district and Centerville, Kettering and Vandalia suffered power outages Thursday, when DP&L announced the work to restore power, and repair downed poles and utility lines would be a “multi-day event.”

As of Friday afternoon, the utility had restored service to all but about 6,300 of its customers, according to DP&L’s website.

One of those customers was Kettering’s Bob King, whose house had power but who dealt with a live utility wire – cordoned off by caution tape - down across the backyard of his Kettering home. The wire, King said, snapped off his house after power was restored after a brief outage Thursday morning and it is strewn over his fence about five feet off the ground and hangs across his Aerial Avenue neighbor’s driveway.

“It’s a safety issue,” he said.

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DP&L spokesperson Mary Ann Kabel said the company had restored service to its larger lines and crews were focusing on residential outages on Friday. The goal, she said, was service restoration to 95 percent of customers by Friday night.

“We appreciate everybody’s patience,” Kabel said. “We’re working. We’re getting there as quickly as possible – getting things up as safely as possible.”

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Aside from the outages, it was also working to repair about 1,040 downed power lines and about 70 utility poles, she said. Kabel said those numbers are expected to climb through the weekend as crews continue to work.

DP&L considers safety, downed power lines and restoration “all as number 1 priorities,” she said. “I wouldn’t rank those in order. Those all come together at the same time.”

Kabel asked customers for continued patience.

“We know it’s frustrating,” she said. “We understand they’re frustrated – especially those who have been out multiple hours or potentially into the second day. And we respect that.”

Power issues continued Friday at Dayton Public Schools, which closed four schools Thursday because of outages. After losing power Friday morning, Horace Mann Elementary gave parents and guardians the option to take their kids home or leave them in school.

The school has a backup generator, which provides power to two thirds of the building, according to Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli.

Students who stayed in school used the part of the building that still had lighting and heat.

Horace Mann lost power shortly after the buses left Friday morning, prompting the district to ask DP&L when power would be restored.

Parents were then notified that they could pick up their children, have buses take them home or let them stay at school, according to Lolli.

The district decided against an early dismissal because some students don’t have keys to their homes or a parent at home to watch them, she said.

At least one road was closed Friday due to power issues. Kettering Boulevard remained closed Friday afternoon, Moraine police said. It was blocked south of Dorothy Lane until DP&L can repair a pole leaning over the roadway.

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