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I am a resident in Southern Illinois and we have been slammed with 4 inches of sleet and 3 inches of snow.  This is nothing compared to the mess that is fifty miles south.  The entire Ohio Valley is covered in an inch of ice.  They have no power.  They have no gas to start the generators.  People are starting to freeze.  They started opening warming stations, but without power, people may not know what is going on.  This is a major situation and I have not heard one word about FEMA.  

Paducah, KY and the surrounding area is suffering the hardest in this crisis with 90% power outage, this is aproximately 100,000 people-maybe more.  (tonight it is supposed to be nine degrees-a little chilly without power.)  They have several warming station, however the roads are a sheet of ice.  Apparently there are 500 National Guard, but this is not limited to the Paducah area.  The Governors office is reporting that more than 500,000 people are out of power statewide.  Reuters is covering it a littlelink.  Murray State is out of power and the instructions are now just coming in on what they should do.  They have been without power since last night-I believe.  Paducah has a curfew of dusk.  Some of the region is running out of water.

The bottom tip of Illinois is also having outages-where is our Gov?  On his media blitz.  I have heard zip about the Illinois National Guard while thousands are out of power.  

Missouri is having difficulty too.  The only TV station that I can pull up with any power or substantial coverage of this event is out of Missouri.  This is a major event that might prove very deadly if these people do not receive help.  I cannot pull up the Paducah website because of the outage.  They are transmitting a broadcast on Television and on the radio but their site is down.  

The KY emergency management is recommending that people go to friends and family or the warming stations.  That's fine but what if they are out of power?  Why don't they bus these people out?  This is a mess.  What about evacuating these people to a place with power?  Maybe some Kossacks can generate a little interest in this story because they are stuck in a major disaster.

I appologize if this is a little choppy, I just finished pushing out five cars and shoveling my big-ass driveway.  I am also getting pissed at what appears to be civic leaders passing the buck on this situation.  

Originally posted to mouser68 on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:02 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Red Cross is asking for trained volunteers (7+ / 0-)

    to assist if you can.

  •  Ice storms can be major disasters (10+ / 0-)

    One of North America's worst happened in Canada in January 1998.

    Casualties and Damage from the Ice Storm of 1998:

       * 28 people died, many from hypothermia,

       * 945 people were injured.

       * Over 4 million people in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick lost power.

       * About 600,000 people had to leave their homes.

       * 130 power transmission towers were destroyed and more than 30,000 utility poles fell.

       * Millions of trees fell, and more continued to break and fall for the rest of the winter.

       * Estimated cost of the ice storm was $5,410,184,000.

       * By June 1998, about 600,000 insurance claims totalling more than $1 billion were filed.

    "There's no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail."--George W. Bush.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:06:16 PM PST

  •  ICE is the absolute WORST (3+ / 0-)

    thankfully our SNOW melted away and all we have now is slush and rain.

    2001-2008 "What a long strange trip it's been"

    by KnotIookin on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:09:04 PM PST

  •  Did the governor ask for FEMA? (6+ / 0-)

    That's how you get it.

  •  Phone lines are down, Cable lines are down. (4+ / 0-)

    This is bad.

  •  Yup, cell phones aren't working in the area. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, bronte17, jj24, sherijr

    Been out of contact with my folks since yesterday.

  •  FEMA? You want FEMA? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JG in MD

    Are you a Socialist? Seriously, I think it's the Governor's job to ask for FEMA and not every snow and ice storm (even those accompanied by injuries and deaths) are appropriate emergencies for FEMA. Really, by the time that the bureaucracy gears up to deliver aid to the Ohio Valley, the ice and snow will be melted- just in time for the next storm in this Godforsaken winter land.

  •  having just come out the other side of a bad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    snow/ice situation (which could have been, but wasn't at all this dangerous b/c the power stayed on) - what do you suggest?

    if you can't get anywhere, no one can get to you, either.  and in these cases, it's pretty important to work together - which, in these cases, people absolutely do.

    you make fires in fireplaces.  you go to places which have fireplaces.  you survive.

    the only thing i can think that is an issue is, they should have SALT.  Seattle didn't have any, and it kept people stuck in the immediate vicinity literally for days.  but other than that - it's not like it's impossible to stay warm or alive.  

    Accepting human beings from all walks of life since 1963.

    by jj24 on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:18:12 PM PST

  •  My parents are in Shelby Co. Kentucky, (10+ / 0-)

    between Lexington & Louisville and they don't have power. It went out early this morning.
    Lucky for them, they have a fireplace and wood, candles, a radio, and have a small ledge on the fireplace insert where mom can heat things in a small saucepan.
    Kentucky is reporting 473,000 without power.

    I guess I'm a little jaded about these things. We often find ourselves in that narrow band between snow and rain that ends up being ice.

    Last time we lost power, we were out for 9 miserable days.

    Ice is heavy and coats the trees and brings down limbs and trees like you wouldn't believe, and it's especially worse if you normally don't get ice. Because then the limbs grow and grow over the power lines and when the storm comes, you have a ton of limbs come down on a ton of lines.

    Nothing much to do except ride it out. Power companies are good about helping each other and trucks and crews will be coming in from all over
    to work to restore power, but it really takes time to get all the lines back up.

    The Lexington paper said there are shelters opening in Lexington, but if the roads are covered with snow  (and we really have lousy snow-removal equipment within the state of Kentucky -- we don't need it often enough to have the equipment it takes to clear out from a huge storm) you can't get anywhere on the roads anyway.

    So people are in for some miserable days.    

    •  Tried to call a large business in Louieville, KY (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this morning and got a recorded message that their office was closed due to extreme weather conditions.  And that was the first I became aware of it -- although I do not watch the news in the morning so maybe it was mentioned but I don't know one way or another.

      •  Kentucky's had a horrible winter. Tons of snow. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, cee4

        I grew up there, and from what I remember, a normal winter might get us two or three small snows, a few inches or more.
        But this winter, they've been hit again and again and again.
        And ice is really unusual and incredibly damaging, especially in an area where you hardly ever get ice. Way too many trees to come down.

        •  This one is especially strange (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          because it crosses the state.  Paducah in Western Ky is just about destroyed.  Central Kentucky is a wreck (I keep praying our power stays on, it has flickered a couple of times), and my parents in far Eastern Ky lost their power yesterday afternoon after they got about an inch of ice.  This will take a long time to clean up.  In the 2003 ice storm that centered over Lexington there were cut up tree branches being piled up to be taken off clear into spring.

          Fox news: Even better than meth!

          by get the red out on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 05:19:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I saw that in the stories on the net. My parents (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            get the red out

            are in Shelby County and out of power. My sister's in Lawrenceburg and still had power this afternoon. My brother's in Perryville (south of Danville in the sticks) and mom can't even get in touch with him, but I read her news that cell phones were out and lots of phone lines down.
            She said Eastern had already canceled classes for the rest of the week! So it must be bad there, too.

  •  My family lives in Poplar Bluff, Mo (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, mouser68, cee4

    My sister is now at my parents' house. Most of the city and the county south of the city has no power. My dad said all night, you could see flashes in the sky from transformers going out. Also, he said trees in every direction from as far as he can see are damaged.

    Its a fucking disaster.

    Without a campaign to endorse, my sig line feels so empty.

    by exotrip on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:32:00 PM PST

  •  In December... (7+ / 0-)

    ...this happened in Massachusetts.  I know people around here who were without power for close to two weeks.  Schools were closed for close to a month.  

    One thing I can tell you is that, even without the government/utilities/aid groups being able to do anything to help, you are in good hands with your neighbors.  People came together in New England and helped one another out during the ice storm and in the weeks after it.  The local AM radio station became kind of like a clearing house for information and stayed on 24 hours a day, pre-empting regular programming to provide this service.

    Good luck, and stay dry.

  •  I'm in Indiana right now (4+ / 0-)

    at my Parents place and its iced over. Fortunately we still have power but about half of everyone else doesn't. Spent a restless night hearing transformers blowing out blocks miles away.

    As for FEMA... I've lived through dozens of these -- starting back in the "Bush 41" years -- and I've never heard of FEMA really doing anything. Its not even really expected, I don't think, and I'm not really sure they can do much of anything.

    What I don't get is what is up with Kentucky (insert joke here). Pretty consistently Kentucky gets whacked by an ice storm and every year for at least twenty years the entire state seems chronically unprepared. I believe one year they didn't even have ice trucks for most of the state.  


    "Cunnilingus and Psychiatry is what got us here," Tony Soprano

    by Larry Madill on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:38:57 PM PST

  •  Is FEMA the right organization? (0+ / 0-)

    Wouldn't the national guard be faster in distributing oil and gas and perhaps evacuating people to warming stations and area's with power?

    The Shape Of Things "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

    by notquitedelilah on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:42:48 PM PST

  •  As one who recently experienced a multi-day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    outage in NH from our December 12 ice storm, it was aweful.  And, awesome.  I was lucky to get mine back after 6 1/2 days.  Others didn't get theirs back until Christmas Eve.  And, still others after that.  It was old after a day or 2.  It, being the coldest and darkest time of year.  And to look forward to the returning light.
    Some of our communities set up warming centers and 3 free meals a day. The Red Cross set up shelters.  People opened their homes for guests, and offered showers.  Our police went door-to-door a couple of times to bring us news and do welfare checks.  
    The awesome part was the way people just chipped in.  My eyes well up in tears when I think about that.

    All shall be well again, I'm telling you. Let the winter come and go. All shall be well again, I know. (S Carter)

    by MinervainNH on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:50:13 PM PST

  •  Puts things in perspective ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the centimeter plus of ice is a trivial annoyance ...

    Could this be the first major "FEMA" event for the Obama Administration?

    Thoughts with you / others ...

    •  It's more than a trivial annoyance. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, mouser68, get the red out

      At a half inch of ice, you start losing lines to the falling branches.  At an inch, you're shit out of luck, because lines are out all over the place.

      It's cold outside here in the Ohio valley, and for the people living in the country, no power means no water pump.  No water pump means no running water.  No running water, no toilet. And that just means that you've either got to hold, or find yourself a bucket.

      And until you've had to shit in a bucket on your back porch because the electric's out, you can't understand how this is more than a mild annoyance.

      Not to mention that losing heat means a lot of busted pipes. And for the elderly it can be very dangerous, because a lot of them no longer drive. So they sit at home, in the dark, in the cold, and freeze.

      by ManfromMiddletown on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 04:03:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is my point for this diary! This is a major (0+ / 0-)

        issue.  Not to mention, people "down-here" are ill equipped to manage a crisis like this.  There are several neighborly acts, but many won't ask, especially the elderly.  I lived in S. Dak. for 20 years and understand how to manage in this shit-the people in the Ohio Valley-really do not understand.  

        •  Be glad you have nights (0+ / 0-)

          I left the heat up last night in case the power went out.  It gets damn cold quick when you lose power.

          I keep my place about 60 to save electricity, but I've done 40 in a blacked out house with no water, and I can tell you it's no fun.

          by ManfromMiddletown on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 04:19:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  As per another comment ... (0+ / 0-)

          on reread, poorly wrote my comment.  We had a small snow storm in the DC area followed by a small layer of ice (1-2 centimeters).  Was commenting that what is going on, as discussed here, put the annoyance of having to chip through ice on the cars in perspective as just that, an annoyance.

      •  Oops ... (0+ / 0-)

        Too easily misunderstood ... was commenting more about the "annoyance" I faced this morning of cleaning ice off cars, formed after a 1.5 inch snowfall here in the DC area.  ... Broke an ice scraper in the process.

        I was writing that what others are going through, in a much more serious manner, highlighted that what I faced this morning wasn't really even a hiccup.

    •  Kentucky has a larger percentage of rural (0+ / 0-)

      population that other places. It's difficult for many, especially the elderly, to get out of their remote areas and to a shelter.

      And the state doesn't have the infrastructure and development that many states have.

      Kentucky is coated in forests and hilly terrain with valleys. Those trees are a blessing during the good times and beautiful in summer, but they bring havoc during these ice storms when the huge branches crash down on roads and homes and take out power lines.

      And, it may sound strange, but in remote places like Alaska or Idaho... the remoteness is wider. If that makes sense. The people retain a sense of survivor mode to them and they stock up. In Kentucky, many areas are remote, but the remoteness is not as vast and there is a Wal-Mart or small store within a reasonable distance. Many have forgotten preparedness skills.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 06:38:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here in Indianapolis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we got about 10 inches of snow.  I am just grateful that we weren't in the ice storm.  I've been there and done that and its no fun.  

  •  Where is Joe The (NOT!)Plumber when you need him? (0+ / 0-)
  •  In southern Ohio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Predictor doesn't look as bad as the big one we had 6 years ago. Looks like we have colder weather to follow this one, though. Bad news for anyone still without power. I'm not sure when mine went out (I was asleep) or came back on (I was at work), but I've got it on now. It was off long enough to let the house cool down some, and it's still pretty chilly even though the furnace is on now.

    Veni, vidi, farinuxi.

    by Ahianne on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 04:18:55 PM PST

  •  Louisville here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, get the red out

    It's a mess, but that's what you get with ice storms.  Terrible beauty, massive damage.

    Here's to helping your neighbors.

  •  Why don't they bus these people out? Here's why (0+ / 0-)

    Kentucky has a huge number of trees.

    The trees are down... everywhere... all over the main roads, side roads, driveways, blocking garages and on the power lines. Huge branches... not little limbs. This icy sleet is so heavy... it rips entire trees down to their base.

    Power lines are down everywhere. And when you see a power line down... you do NOT get near it. And if there is water (or sleety rain) running near it... you doubly do not want near it.

    The roads were nothing but a sheet of ice. Hard glassy shiny-white ice coating the road.

    And very few vehicles can travel on sheets of ice. Curvy hilly roads with sheets of ice on them.

    And these pictures are not Black & White... they're color.  But, it is so stark outside.
    Frozen Gazebo

    Frozen Yard

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 06:04:06 PM PST

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