On Sunday, September 14, the fierce remnants of Hurricane Ike swept through Kentuckiana and teamed up with a cold front crossing the Mississippi Valley region to create a phenomenon of air pressure that brought up to 90-mph winds through the Ohio Valley and areas of Louisville, Ky.
One of the hardest hit was the St. Matthews area of Louisville, where Louisville Seminary is located. The air mass, which stretched from north of Cincinnati, to Indianapolis, to Paducah, to Frankfort, and well south of Louisville, left in its wake more than half a million people without power. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency, saying it was the worse power outage on record.
By Monday evening, September 15, 215,000 LG&E customers were still without power, including the campus of Louisville Seminary. Reports from Metro Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and LG&E director Chris Herman confirmed that 277 poles were broken or damaged and that 5,300 power lines were down. Only 54 of 150 schools in the Jefferson County Public School system have power. They said it could take 10 to 14 days to return power to all LG&E customers.
On the Louisville Seminary campus, several trees were felled by the strong winds, and clean up commenced immediately on Monday morning. Students are doing well and have been resourceful, hosting community cookouts for meals and entertaining children, who cannot attend school. Without power on the campus, offices are closed and classes have been cancelled.
Louisville Seminary President Dean Thompson, whose home is also on the Louisville Seminary campus, has made frequent rounds with the campus facilities staff and other administration each day to visit with students and check on their well being. The Facilities Department is monitoring the campus situation constantly.
As of Tuesday morning, the governor and mayor added 600 men and women from the National Guard and regional electric companies to help with the restoration process. However, no specific predictions regarding the return of power to certain areas have been made.
Durng this situation, Louisville Seminary will try to provide updates via the news section of this website. Individuals who are trying to contact someone on the campus of Louisville Seminary may call Director of Communications Michelle Melton at 502.609.5697.