Big Sandy Region Hit Hard With Ice

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Thousands do not have power and hundreds of roads are still closed after a winter storm sweeps through Kentucky.

Officials say ice and fallen trees are causing major problems in the Big Sandy region.

Johnson County officials declared a state of emergency there and are setting up shelters to help people.

Thousands do not have power in Johnson County, so many are coming to a shelter at the Paintsville Recreation Center for a place to eat, sleep, and stay warm, while outside, crews are working to restore power and clear the roads.

The two inches of ice knocked down power lines and trees all over the county.

“You could just hear the trees, they were breaking in the hills all around me. I was scared to death,” Anita Meeks said.

Anita Meeks is just one of eight thousand who lost power.

She is staying warm at the shelter in the Paintsville Recreation Center, but getting there was hard.

Road Superintendents say fallen trees are covering three fourths of the county roads.

Some emergency responders say this is the worst situation they've seen in the county.

Paintsville 911 dispatchers answered more than one thousand calls for help.

“It's been a hectic 24 hours for us. It ranges from one thing to another,” Gary McClure, Emergency Management Director said.

200 power and road workers are cutting trees, clearing roads, and repairing lines.

“We're working with all these folks trying to work through these problems. We need to be patient. It's going to take some time,” McClure said.

Officials say it may be Saturday before the power is back.

The shelter is open to anyone who needs it. They just ask you to bring your own pillows, blankets, and any medication you need.

The power outages are also making life difficult for folks in Martin County, Kentucky but they are also dealing with no water.

Two power poles going to the water plant broke during the storm Tuesday night.

That shut off water to thousands of homes.

The county's emergency services workers checked on the elderly to make sure they're alright and even gave some of them rides to the senior center.

That is where there is plenty of food and even bottled water for folks to take home.

About 75 percent of the people who live in the county do not have electricity so the help is greatly needed.

Again, anyone in Martin County who needs help, whether it's a place to stay or a hot meal, just head over to the Martin County Senior Center.

The story was the same in Floyd County.

Clean-up and power crews were out in full force battling the winter mess.

Workers spent the day removing trees and debris from roadways, as well as repairing downed power lines.

“Don't get around these areas until we've got a chance to clear them because not only for the trees but for power lines it is very very important,” Floyd County Judge Executive R.D. Doc Marshall said.

Crews say they are working into the evening to clear the roads and downed lines.

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