Western Kentuckians Still Struggle With Storm

HANSON, Ky. — While spring-like temperatures spawned enhanced efforts to cleanup storm related damage around Kentucky, many Western Kentuckians are still struggling to return to normalcy, reports The Louisville Courier-Journal in its Sunday edition.

A soft glow from an oil lamp fills Trudy Parker's kitchen as she stands at her gas stove, making coffee in a saucepan and then running it through a filter in the electric coffee maker she can't use

A few miles away in the Hopkins County seat of Madisonville, Alice Sanders sits wrapped in a blanket, with warmth from a space heater and light to work a crossword puzzle provided by a generator humming outside her home.

It was Thursday, Day 10 since the Jan. 27 ice storm slammed Kentucky and wrought havoc with the power grid across the state.

From Danville to the Mississippi River, large swaths of the main transmission lines of Kentucky Utilities, the largest utility in the state, were destroyed. And the other main provider of power for the Hopkins County area, Kenergy, also suffered major damage to its transmission system.

The damage prompted President Barack Obama to declare Kentucky a major disaster area, clearing the way for the federal government to reimburse state and local governments for 75 percent of their storm cleanup costs.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department says Secretary Janet Napolitano will visit Kentucky, Kansas and Iowa next week as part of a three-state tour to observe the federal response to the ice storm, The Associated Press reported yesterday.

Kentucky officials estimate that the state's costs for dealing with the storm will exceed $50 million.

The number of storm-related deaths has risen to 30, officials said yesterday, with three recent deaths reported in Hopkins, Anderson and Boyle counties, reports The Louisville Courier-Journal.

Copyright - The Louisville Courier-Journal

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