Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ice, cold, no electric.... on and on and on!

As I am sure everyone knows by now Arkansas, Kentucky and parts of other states were hit by an ice storm late in January. We still have areas of Western Kentucky without electricity and my be without for another 2 to 3 weeks. The ice weighted the trees to the point they either broke or just fell over from the root up.

We stayed in our house for a few days. The bad part was the nights were just so long and cold. I cooked outside on the propane grill. By the time I had a meal ready parts of it was cold, but we at least ate and it was good.

We could handle needing to acquire water for drinking and washing up, but going to bed at 5:30pm because of darkness. Then going to bed early because we were so cold. I told Bill there will be lots of babies born in about 9 months....that will not include us!

We had ordered propane for our gas logs before the storm arrived, but it was not delivered until 5 days later. So only one gas log fireplace was on and it was turned down low. Bill and I could no longer take the cold because we were getting sick. We also felt that my parents needed to get to a warmer location. So we moved to a lodge (motel) about 20 miles away for 3 nights. Bill and I stayed 4 nights to allow the house to warm up a bit after the electric came back on. Besides that we didn't know the electric would be on that night.

At least we were able to see the Super Bowl. It was a good game even if I didn't like the way it ended.

One of the really bad parts of the ice storm was the telephones didn't work, not even the cell phones. It was three days before I could let some in the family know that we were OK.

After arriving home then the real work started. We had clothes to wash, dishes for the time we were at home without electric to clean...the bathroom where the toilet was flushed by pouring in water once a day..oh and then the food that spoiled. Bill and I had cleaned out the refrigerators while the electric was off, so the bad stuff could go into last weeks garbage. Tomorrow we need to empty and list everything that spoiled in the upright freezer. That way it will go out in this weeks garbage. We are listing everything, because our original insurance police said it would be replaced.

To tell you the story of going to the insurance company the first time to see what we needed to do to make a claim. I won't tell you the company, but let's say they have pulled out of FL and were in trouble with the draw your own conclusions. They told us if our neighbors didn't have power they would not pay for any loss other then physical damage. So we explained to the agent...a new agent...that most of the neighbors had electric. She immediately questioned that notion. She said so you have damage with a pole at your house. I said "No, part of the neighborhood is feed via the lake road, another part via the road by the Church and our part of the neighborhood is feed up another road." That road goes through a pine farm area, but the pines didn't bother the lines. A rotten pole with a transformer had been hit and came down in pieces. She opened a claim for us. Hopefully we will get something. We have never as far as I can remember made a claim on this insurance. I'm sure we will pay for it next year!

We are still exhausted. We fall asleep early and sometimes take naps. Bill and I decided it is mental exhaustion as well as physical.

Today we heard that the workers hoped to have our county all back on power today. They they will move on to another county serviced by the same electric company. Our county was really the easiest, because our ice melted first. I feel for those who have been without power for nearly two weeks and it may be another two or three weeks before they have electric.

It was nice to see how the community pulled together. Kroger, Walgreens, Lowes and some other stores were open even with only emergency electric. We could not believe how many people were in Kroger. It was a 2 to 4 hour wait the first day just to check out. Warming stations were set up at the hospital and the senior citizens center. Then as soon as town had electric some of the Churches opened up for meals and showers. Gas was available at one station, but most people went to TN to get gas, water and propane.

I also noticed as things got more back to normal people would put signs in their yard advertising free water. We have many artisan wells in the area, but until know I had not idea where they were located.

Unfortunately many people died during this emergency. Some from improper heating, like using a propane gas grill inside the house or old kerosene heaters. One man locally would not leave his home and died of hypothermia. Another one had a limb from a tree fall on his head. We do hope others aren't found dead in their homes.

Be sure to plan ahead for electrical outages. They can happen at any time and any where. We always have water on hand for drinking as well as for washing. Food is also something to think about and batteries. We were prepared, but it was still tough. I am glad we have our electric on now.

The day I took may camera with me when we were out and about the ice all melted! So no pictures.


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