Ice Storm Tragedy

| January 31, 2009 @ 4:48 pm | 21 Replies

Thanks to Greg from Huntsville for these images… he writes:

“James and Crew:

I took these pictures while delivering emergency supplies to Beaver Dam, KY in Ohio County. The devastation was unreal. This is worse than the damage caused by Hurricane Dennis in 2005, which I witnessed first hand in Pace, Florida. People don’t realize what about 1” of ice can do. The power crews (see photo) cannot turn main lines back on until all the little lines are cleaned up. Imagine what would happen if lines were suddenly re-energized with cables still on the ground. Everything has to be worked in stages, and it’s rough work.

Keep in mind, too, that this is 3 days after the storm hit. Virtually no improvement in conditions. I thought it was funny that good ole’ US Highway 231 was in the photo.

The folks in Beaver Dam, KY are really hurting. There is no power in the entire town, and very little in the entire county. Wal*Mart, closed. Taco Bell, closed. No gasoline. No food. The water towers are dwindling. Railroad crossings are non-functional. I witnessed a mobile home fire while I was there. It took a long time for the fire trucks to get there due to no phones working. Luckily, everyone got out.

Driving the Western Kentucky Parkway was hazardous because the trees on the right were bent over the roadway in places. The road surfaces were just fine, but the trees were very dangerous.

Everyone should realize that this has happened in Alabama in the past, and will happen again one day. People need to be prepared to be self-sufficient for days, and possibly weeks. I have a new respect for what winter weather can do. Many of us who follow the weather closely don’t really understand the reality of it all. Now I do.”

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James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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