Over 200,000 still without power in the Midwest

More than 200,000 homes and businesses remained without power Tuesday after snow and ice storms January 27-28 left almost 1.7 million customers in the dark from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, local utilities reported.

More than 100,000 customers were powerless in both Kentucky and Arkansas.

With fresh snow falling across the Bluegrass State and highs just reaching the 20s and 30s F though Thursday, those Kentuckians who remained in or returned to their dark homes may not be able to stay until the power is turned back on.

About 39 percent of the homes in Kentucky use electricity for heat, versus a U.S. average of about 30 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The average high in Louisville is about 43 degrees at this time of year, according to AccuWeather.com.

E.ON U.S., which owns Louisville Gas and Electric Co and Kentucky Utilities Co, said it could take seven to 10 days to restore service to all 95,000 customers still without service.

A spokesman for the electric cooperatives in Kentucky, which serve the rural parts of the state, said it could take weeks to restore power to the most remote customers.

E.ON U.S., a subsidiary of German energy company E.ON AG, owns and operates about 8,000 megawatts of generating capacity and transmits and distributes electricity to more than 900,000 customers and natural gas to more than 325,000 customers in Kentucky.

In Arkansas, Entergy Corp said it hopes to restore power to most of the 45,000 customers still without service by this weekend.

Entergy, of New Orleans, owns and operates about 30,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities and transmits and distributes power to 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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