Kokomo residents whose homes were stripped of their electrical meters during last week’s flood are slowly getting their power turned back on. City fire officials are advising Duke Energy when it is safe to flip each home’s switch.
When it became clear late last week that more than 100 homes would need to be powered down, Duke Energy workers did not go to a transformer or a high-voltage line. Instead, they physically ripped out electrical meters from only those homes which were under water.
Duke spokeswoman Angeline Protegere says it is a more surgical approach to addressing the problem.
“If we shut off power for instance at the pole or through a line fuse, we would be affecting some customers who didn’t need their power disconnected,” she says.
Now, Duke is reinstalling the meters, but only when Kokomo Fire Department officials tell them a home is safe to again have current running to it.
Deputy Chief Nick Glover is overseeing the city electricians who are powering the flooded homes back up and he says while the issue is probably three-fourths solved, it may be a while before all the electrical boxes are dry enough to make them safe again for electricity.
“In a lot of cases it’s more than just moisture,” he says. “They’re still wet. I’ve had some guys open panels up and water’s pouring out on them still.”
At the height of the flooding, Duke pulled the meters on a couple dozen businesses, too.