LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A brutal ice storm that killed 36 people
and paralyzed more than half the state was named Kentucky's top
story of 2009.
With 769,000 power outages reported statewide and much of the
western half of the state immobilized by downed trees and utility
lines, Gov. Steve Beshear became the first governor in state
history to call up every Kentucky National Guardsman. The troops
helped maintain order, conducted door-to-door checks, delivered
food and water to housebound Kentuckians and were credited with
several lifesaving rescues.
The Jan. 27 storm is now considered the worst natural disaster
in recent Kentucky history, with an official estimate of at least
$616 million in damages.
"I'm not sure I could come up with a scenario that would be
much worse," said Brig. Gen. John Heltzel, the head of Kentucky's
Division of Emergency Management, which responded by using a plan
developed to handle a major earthquake.
The storm was selected the biggest story in the state this year
in voting by The Associated Press staff and AP member newspapers
The No. 2 story revealed the private troubles of a public
figure. Former Republican state lawmaker Steven Nunn of Glasgow,
heir to one of the most famous names in Kentucky politics, was
arrested Sept. 11 after his former fiancee, Amanda Ross, was found
shot to death outside her Lexington townhouse.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)