Move Over Ike!

When it comes to storms knocking power out for people in Kentucky, there is a new sheriff in town!

Six Hundred Thousand.  That was the number of utility customers in the Commonwealth who lost power last September when the hurricane-force winds of former Hurricane Ike rushed through Kentucky.  I thought that number would be hard to top.  I sure as heck didn't think it would be topped less than a half-year later.  But last week's massive ice storm accomplished that dubious feat, by more than 7000 customers, no less.  Six Hundred Seven Thousand, One Hundred Fifty-Two is now the new benchmark.  Man, what a storm!

We don't have to see 30" of snow or nights with sub-zero temperatures to make a particular winter season memorable.  All it takes is ONE EVENT, ONE STORM.  Remember 1994?  South-Central KY was impacted by two major winter storms within the span of four weeks between mid-January and mid-February that season.  Perhaps that February's ice storm is more memorable in the immediate Bowling Green/Glasgow areas for the hardship it caused on commerce and travel.  Power was knocked out to almost 200,000 Kentucky residents (mostly on this side of the state and NOT Louisville or Lexington, I might add).  For some in Glasgow, it was near the end of February before the lights came back on.  Around $50 million dollars in damage occured along with some 150 injuries.  I'd say moreso than the "Great Ice Storm of 1951", which is largely considered to be the worst ever for much of Kentucky, the February '94  event set the standard for "modern day" ice storms in our now more technologically-dependent society.  I often wondered how another storm if similar magnitude would impact us in this internet/cell phone/p.d.a. era.  Many of us are now finding out. 

All the rest of my immediate family, and my wife's, reside in Daviess or McLean Counties.  As you may know, the northwestern part of Kentucky was hit hard by "Ice Storm '09".  In the wake of the storm last Tuesday, I had not heard boo from anyone there last week until Saturday night.  That's when my mother called me on a static-filled cell phone to tell me everyone was okay.  As I type this, they remain without power and have been told they may not receive it back for at least another two weeks.  The same is true for my father and mother-in-law, who live in rural western Daviess County.  At least all of them are staying in homes that feature a gas fireplace.  My mom said, "You know, having no power or heat is no picnic, but times like this make you appreciate the little things we take for granted a lot."  True mom, so true. 

In the coming weeks, life will slowly return to normal for those hardest-hit by the ice storm.  In the meantime, I encourage you to help those impacted by giving monetary donations to the American Red Cross, or dropping off items like bottled water, new standard pillows and pillow cases, and new blankets.  A little goes a long way.

Shane

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  • by Shane on Feb 17, 2009 at 09:11 AM
    Ann - I just spoke with someone who asked me that very question last night! Between now and the end of February, I am not seeing another major ice storm for our area at this time. While big snows are not necessarily rare for KY in late Feb/March, freezing rain becomes more unlikely this late in the season. Reason being, shallow arctic air--the culprit in January's storm--tends to yield to warmer air intruding from the south much easier when spring approaches than it did back in the dead of winter. That's why it's usually either rain or snow for precip here in March, with sleet/freezing rain becoming more uncommon by that point.
  • by ann Location: bowling green on Feb 16, 2009 at 04:40 PM
    my grandfather says the old farmer's almanac predicted the ice storm and has predicted another major storm end of feb. is there truth to this
  • by Lindsey Location: Grayson Co. on Feb 7, 2009 at 07:18 PM
    We have been without power since 4 AM Tuesday morning. We have no clue when we will have power. WRECC hasn't given us a time frame. The first time they said 10-12 days. Tomarrow is 12 days. Now they say 10-12 days. Who knows? Times are starting to be extremely trying.
  • by SHERRY STALINS Location: BOWLING GREEN, KY on Feb 5, 2009 at 01:15 PM
    I AM ORIGINALLY FORM THE WESTERN PART OF THE STATE. SATURDAY I WENT TO MY HOME TOWN OF PRINCETON. IT WAS VERY DEVASTATING TO SEE ALL THE DESTRUCTION. THE TREE HAVE ALL BEEN BROKEN DOWN AND IF NOT THE TOPS ARE NO LONGER THERE. I STILL HAVE FAMILY MEMEBERS IN CALDWELL AND HOPKINS THAT STILL DO NOT HAVE POWER. SOME MAY NOT SEE ELECTRIC FOR SEVERAL WEEKS.GOD BLESSED US IN BOWLING GREEN.I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE MEN THAT HAVE BEEN WORKING SO HARD TO RESTORE POWER.
  • by Anita Location: Summersville Ky on Feb 3, 2009 at 10:19 PM
    It has been a trying time for a lot of people,my family only lost power for a few hours,we have wood heat,so we made just fine.But the storm in 94 was alot different,we were without power for over a week.That tought me a few lessons,on how to make do.I learned that you can really cook great food on a wood stove.you can still take a bath with water you heat on the stove.You can make it.Just don't sit around and complain,just remember that there are others out there who are going through a lot more than you.I have a sister who lives in the Jonesville area who lost her power on Tuesday and just got it back on Saturday,but really there wasn't anything to complain about,she knew everyone was doing all they could to help.We would like to say thank you to everyone who helped.I would like to say that God has blessed us,because of the people out there still willing to help those in need.(and there are many).Thank you all.
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