LOUISVILLE, Ky. – More than a million people stranded in darkness Thursday in the wake of an icy winter storm could face a lengthy wait for electricity to course through their frosty homes, even as federal help was promised to two states hit hardest by the blast.
Utility officials estimated more than 1.31 million homes and businesses across a wide swath of states were powerless early Thursday, and warned it could be mid-February before some customers had power. The storm has been blamed for at least 23 deaths so far.
Tony Cipolla managed to keep warm by building a fire at his powerless home near Seneca Park in Louisville, cooking a pot of soup over a gas stove. But there wasn't a long-term plan for Cipolla and his two children, ages 5 and 9, if electricity wasn't soon restored.
"If it'll be a couple days, then we'll be in trouble," Cipolla told The Courier-Journal in Louisville, where temperatures dipped into the 20s overnight.