February 9, 2009
Winter Storm 2009
Well … Now THAT was interesting.
Some of you might have noticed the lack of pages last week on both The Rookie and Black Jack Justice. Those of you who live in the Mid-Western part of the United States or have been following the weather news know the reason — on Jan 29 - 31 we were hit by the mother of all ice storms.
Here’s my story from Louisville, KY.
On the night of Jan 29 it started snowing. It didn’t snow much, only about 6 to 8 inches. But then, during the night, the air warmed up enough to turn the snow into a fine, misty rain.
On the morning of Thursday the 29th, it had really just started getting bad and everything looked pretty normal. A little snow, some rain — happens all the time. Probably be gone in a day or two. Especially if it was warm enough to rain.
But it just kept coming.
The rain continued for the next two days — coating everything in a HEAVY layer of ice. On flat surfaces this was on top of the snow adding about 2 inches of ice.
We lost power about 7pm on Thursday. When we went to bed the house was still warm.
I woke up before daylight on Friday to a cold house and the sound of breaking limbs and exploding transformers. Literally, the sound woke me up. “CRACK” — “Teeeesssseee” as the millions of pieces of ice on the limbs hit the ice covering the ground or rooftop. Over and over. I stood in my front door and watched trees collapsing and power lines falling all around our neighborhood as the sun rose. Very strange.
The rain finally let up on Friday afternoon — but as you can see by the pictures, the damage was done.
Now 6 to 8 inches of snow is not that much for some of you (Gregg from Canada and Sami from Finland are probably laughing at us) and, really, it’s not a lot even by Kentucky standards. But the ice… That was bad. Our infrastructure and even our trees and bushes are just not used to that kind of abuse.
Imagine the weight on the electric lines and tree limbs of 3/4 inch of ice on EVERY surface.
Our poor trees just couldn’t take it. Here’s my (once) beautiful Holly Tree and a tree across the road. The Holly Tree was twice as tall just two days ago. The whole top broke out.
This picture below — taken after the ice had started melting — shows what happened to many, many of the smaller trees. They just litterally split apart — each side falling away from the others.
The Governor declared a state of emergency for Kentucky (something President Obama also did a bit later) on Friday and told everyone but emergency people to stay off the roads. Hey, no problem — I wasn’t going anywhere anyway.
Nor could I have even if I wanted to — this is one entance to our neighborhood. On MONDAY.
Our power came back on Friday afternoon and stayed on until Saturday Morning. Then it went off and stayed off until Monday afternoon. Monday night it went off a third time and stayed off until Friday Morning — at which point it has stayed on for good.
As I write this, many are still without power in Louisville and the rest of the state. They said on the news this morning that it will still be a week for all of Louisville to be back online and up to a month for some of the rural counties.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal Newspaper, all told the storm cause 30 deaths and 769,000 + power outages in Kentucky alone (90,000 are still out as of Sunday.)
One last thing – Even though I know there’s only a very small chance any of them will ever read this, I want to say …
THANK YOU to the men and women of Louisville Gas and Electric for the Kick Ass job they do all the time. You guys are the best.
Filed under Writer - Mark