WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News, Weather, Sports

Shipping giants rush to deliver holiday packages

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Mellany Sorrell's face glistened with
sweat as she lifted packages and seemed in constant motion during
the holiday rush at the epicenter of UPS' global air shipping
network.
The 29-year-old methodically hoisted boxes and put them gingerly
onto a conveyor belt - keeping them on a synchronized journey that
could end under countless Christmas trees. After emptying a hulking
container so big that she could step inside it, Sorrell caught her
breath before starting again with another container stuffed with
boxes. Each container holds up to 6 tons of cargo.
The holiday shipping rush is expected to peak for UPS on Monday,
when the world's largest shipping carrier projects it will deliver
about 22 million small packages. For the entire holiday season, UPS
plans to deliver roughly 400 million packages worldwide, up
slightly from the 2008 holiday season.
There is no syrupy Christmas music blaring inside the massive
UPS Worldport hub in Louisville, Ky., only the roar of conveyor
belts. Still, workers say they get caught up in the holiday spirit.
"You're making millions of people's Christmases come true,"
said Matthew Deeds, a supervisor.
Co-worker John Pidwell added, "We're basically playing Santa
Claus."
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Winter storm knocks out power in eastern Ky.
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Snow blanketed parts of eastern Kentucky
on Sunday from a storm that knocked out power to more than 75,000
people.
About three dozen people spent the night in a Red Cross shelter
at Pike Central High School in Pikeville, near the Kentucky-West
Virginia border, an area with more than 24,000 homes reported
without power.
"We're together, so that's what I'm thankful for. Everybody is
warm and safe," said Marlena Varnes, who spent the night at the
shelter with her husband, Daniel, and their eight children. "It's
better than being cold."
The storm dropped record amounts of snow along the East Coast,
including 2 feet in Medford, N.J., a suburb of Philadelphia.
In Kentucky, heavy snow fell on trees, knocking them on to power
lines, which caused some areas, including parts of the
Appalachians, to go dark.
Kentucky National Guard Brigadier Gen. John Heltzel said about
87,000 homes were without power as of noon Sunday. The Kentucky
Public Service Commission listed power outages in 26 counties,
primarily in eastern Kentucky. The central and western parts of the
state were spared the worst of the snowstorm.


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