As work crews today continue cleaning Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky's streets of fallen trees, downed power lines and other debris left from Sunday's unexpected windstorm, more than 513,000 homes in the region remain without electricity.
Falling trees killed at least three people during the storm, in which gusts reached up to 75 mph.
Of course, if you're reading this, you're probably lucky enough to have power unless you're accessing the Internet at the public library, coffee shop or other location. But here's a list of telephone numbers and other information to keep handy in case you, your family or friends need any assistance.
Roughly 928,000 households throughout the region lost power during the storm, or about 90 percent of Duke Energy’s customers. The outage is believed to be the largest number ever for a single weather event in this region. Between Columbus and Louisville, the number without power reached 1.5 million customers.
It might take up to a week before some areas have power restored, company representatives said. Duke Energy is calling in additional work crews from North and South Carolina to quicken the recovery time.
** Report Electrical Problems
Toll free: 1-800-543-5599
Also, online services can be used to report electric trouble.
** Report Gas Problems
Toll free: 1-800-634-4300
Power outages also have affected the ability of Greater Cincinnati Water Works to pump water, prompting calls for conservation.
All of the utilities’ customers are asked to conserve water during the next few days, but especially those who live in Amberley Village, Blue Ash, Deer Park, Mason, Maderia, Montgomery, Silverton, Sharonville, Sycamore Township, Symmes Township and parts of Indian Hill.
Strangely, a political fund-raiser that features Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is still scheduled for later today in Indian Hill. The GOP event, which costs a minimum of $10,000 to attend, will be held at the estate of John Barrett, CEO of Western & Southern Financial Group.
Motorists who approach traffic signals that aren’t working are advised to stop and treat the affected intersection as a two- or four-way stop, yielding to other vehicles that were stopped first.
Work crews from the city of Cincinnati’s Public Services Department are working 12-hour shifts to help clear streets after the storm. Crews will be restoring traffic signals across the city as power is restored. Although trash and yard waste collection crews are on their regular collection schedule, crews also will be systematically collecting yard debris that has been set to the curb throughout the city.
** Residents shouldn’t attempt to move or cross over power lines that have fallen to the ground or touch other objects in contact with downed power lines, as they could be shocked.
** Residents are advised that as they begin their cleanup, they should place their yard waste and garbage curbside as it's accumulated.
** For more information on city services, call 513-591-6000 or visit its Web site.
The American Red Cross has opened three temporary shelters for people displaced from their homes. They are:
** Hamilton County
Air National Guard Station
10649 McKinley Road
** Butler County
Old County Jail
123 Court St.
** Warren County
665 N. Broadway St.
UPDATE: Two additional shelters have been opened.
** Clermont County
First Baptist Church
1034 Old State Route 74
** Campbell County
Southgate Civic Center
301 W. Walnut St.
For tips about recovering from a storm, how to tell if perishable food is safe to eat and related information, access the Red Cross Web site.
— Kevin Osborne