Ice Storm Anniversary Marked

by Rick Howlett on January 27, 2010

(Thanks to Lisa Autry, Kentucky Public Radio/WKYU, Bowling Green)

This week marks the one year anniversary of one of Kentucky’s worst weather disasters.

An ice storm that moved through the commonwealth January 27 and 28, 2009 left more than 750,000 homes and businesses without electricity. Tens of thousands more were without service in southern Indiana.

It prompted Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to declare a state of emergency and take to the airwaves to promise government help.                  

“We’re going to pull out all the stops, money is not going to be an object and a problem when it comes to protecting our folks. We’re going to everything possible to make sure that everyone gets though this okay,”  Beshear said on WFPL’s State of Affairs program on January 28.

The disaster claimed the lives of 36 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

One of the hardest hit areas was Muhlenberg County, in western Kentucky. Judge-executive Rick Newman says the storm was a teaching tool for emergency responders.

“We learned that you can never be prepared enough. We’ve invested in generators (and) done some tie-ins with the water district for backup,” he said.

The disaster also prompted a Kentucky Public Service Commission report, called Ike and Ice, that detailed lessons learned from the ice storm and and the previous fall’s windstorm, which also produced record power
outages.

(Photo courtesy of Kentucky Public Service Commission)

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