<!--:es-->Over 218,000 still without power in Midwest<!--:-->

Over 218,000 still without power in Midwest

NEW YORK – More than 218,000 homes and businesses remained without power Wednesday morning after snow and ice storms January 27-28 left almost 1.7 million customers in the dark from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, local utilities reported. About 100,000 customers were powerless in both Kentucky and Arkansas.

With temperatures expected to remain below freezing though Thursday, 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 the Bluegrass State use electricity for heat, versus the 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, which forecast Kentuckians would get some relief on Friday when temperatures reach the 50s.

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 70,000 customers still without power. A spokesman for the electric cooperatives in Kentucky said it could take up to a month to restore service to customers in the most remote areas. The cooperatives serve the more rural parts of the state.

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.