Disaster Strikes Kentucky, Governor Declares a State of Emergency

Kentucky Residents Evacuate Their Homes

Centenary Christian Life in Danville, Ky., was full on Thursday, January 29, 2009., with locals whose houses were out of power and heat in Boyle County because of the ice storm that hit the area. (Associated Press Photo/Advocate Messenger, Clay Jackson)

The death toll has reached 55 people after a brutal ice storm battered the western region of Kentucky during the last few days of January 2009. As of Monday, February 2, a quarter of a million people were still without power and water, six days after the storm ravaged the region. While many people throughout the nation enjoyed a thrilling Superbowl weekend, our neighbors in Kentucky battled wind, ice and snow in subzero temperatures.

The situation in Kentucky is dire, even more so with the passing of the brutal winter storm. The loud cracking noises that residents hear are not merely tree branches, they are entire tree trunks falling on homes, power lines and automobiles. Governor Steve Beshear described the devastating events as the state’s largest-ever natural disaster and took the extreme, but necessary measure of activating the entire Kentucky National Guard to assist with the emergency evacuation brought on by the winter weather crisis. Service men and women are still going door to door to assist their community members, reaching those who are stranded, unable to leave their house due to the harsh elements.

Kentucky Ice Storm

CBSNews. Ca. Henderson city workers and Kentucky National Guard members clear downed trees and limbs from North Main Street in Henderson, Ky., on Saturday.(Mike/Laurence Associated Press)

Unfortunately, the ordeal isn’t over with even more snow lingering in the forecast and a predicted two full weeks before power can be restored to people’s homes. The food in the refrigerators has gone bad and people are unable to get to local stores and fill their cabinets with emergency supplies.