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Rockcastle Middle School serving as warming center

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 5:39 PM EST
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ROCKCASTLE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The list of power and now water outages continues to grow in Rockcastle County.

Police shut the interstate down several times yesterday and are urging folks to stay off the roads tonight and tomorrow.

Thousands have been living without power. Community leaders are working on getting them off the roads, out of the dark and inside their warming center at Rockcastle County Middle School.

Impassable roads during the daylight brings concerns for the nights ahead.

“Our concern is the low temperature for this evening,” Rockcastle County Schools Superintendent Carrie Ballinger said.

Many people have gone without power for days.

“In the middle of cooking dinner everything just shut down,” said Cory Hovey, who lost power Monday night.

Folks packed up their belongings to spend the night, or several, at the warming center.

“We had been talking over the last several weeks about what if. What if we did get an ice storm? so we were already pretty prepared,” Ballinger said.

Many members of the community are left without both power and water.

“You went from all the comforts of home to having to go back to flashlights and candles and trying to figure out how you’re going to cook and provide for your family,” Hovey said.

Hovey and his friends checked in at the warming center. There, volunteers took their temperature and had masks and dinner. Spaced out cots and blankets cover the gym floor. Anyone with a temperature was taken to an isolation room.

“Don’t stay home and be cold. We have food, we have water, we have a warm place for you to come. Our doors are open,” Ballinger said.

Hovey isn’t sure when his lights will turn back on, but at the warming center, he can safely rest, catch up on work and stay warm.

“I won’t have to worry about my friends and my family as much because thankfully, with a roof over our heads and power and heat, it’s just great,” Hovey said.

Ballinger said this center will stay open as long as it’s needed. She said they have more cots ready to roll out around the school building.

With another storm on the way, several people in Rockcastle County say they have no idea when they’ll have their power back on. And roads in the county are still icy—officials say Copper Creek Hill Road is closed after a fire truck partially slid off the road, and won’t be able to be removed until Thursday.

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