Now that the ice is gone, we are left with the aftermath of the ice storm. This is a view of the trees surrounding Dolly McNutt Plaza, just behind the library in downtown Paducah. It looks like this on all four sides of the Plaza. Some of you may have visited this city park where free wireless Internet connections are available. This ice storm is the worst natural disaster ever in the state of Kentucky. This week it was designated a Major Disaster by President O'Bama, which will allow the cities to recoup some of the money that has to be spent on handling the disaster. (Click on the photo for a larger version.)
This utility pole located at the corner of the Paducah Expo Center parking lot is an example of the problems the utility companies are facing. There are literally thousands of utility poles snapped in half, or in this case thirds. The weight of all that ice was more than these poles could stand. The transformer from this pole stands alone like a little soldier left behind on the street. Cindy Carrico, our Assistant Show Director, counted 28 snapped utility poles between her home in Fancy Farm and Mayfield, Kentucky. What a huge task it will be to get all of our power operating again.
The power is being restored section by section, however many of our staff still do not have power in their homes. Many have generators and others are living with relatives and friends. This is now Day 12 and some don't expect to have their power on for two to three weeks yet. Yesterday the news reported that more than 500 utility workers from nine states are here helping to work on the power lines. A big Thank You to all of them and to our local utility companies for working so hard to restore our power.