Snow adds to West Liberty's tornado clean-up misery

Snow is adding to the misery of storm victims cleaning up in West Liberty, where a tornado demolished the downtown and neighborhoods in the eastern Kentucky town.

Nearly a half-foot of snow fell overnight in West Liberty. Utility crews there are working to restore power and residents are making repairs to homes damaged from the tornado that ripped through town Friday evening. Parts of the town were leveled by an EF-3 tornado packing winds up to 140 mph.

“With this particularly wet snow, there are real concerns for the safety of first responders and Red Cross volunteer teams who are traveling on icy roads,” stated Bluegrass Chapter Red Cross Disaster Services Director Sarah Terry. “The remaining buildings in the affected communities also pose an additional concern as they are further compromised from the weight of the snow.”

The potential of downed power lines and debris that are now snow-covered, make movement in the affected areas even more treacherous.

The Morgan Central Elementary School shelter in West Liberty provided comfort for 63 guests overnight. “This just means that there may be many more who will need our help,” stated Sarah Terry. “Since victims of disaster typically turn to family and friends first, we know there are others who will ultimately need Red Cross services as the burden of those temporary arrangements take its toll.”

Utilities say more than 9,000 customers are without power statewide from Friday's storms. Nearly 9,000 more customers are without power due to the snowfall Monday.

In Laurel County, light snow didn't stick to the ground but had crews bundled up for the recovery work from a tornado that hit Friday.

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