We're turning the corner toward day number 9 without power in rural Fulton County. The next two nights will have lows from the teens down to single digits. I'm not looking forward to it.
We did read today from one source that our electric company, Hickman-Fulton RECC has several hundred customers back on line, which is encouraging, although the vast majority of us still do not. We still get conflicting reports. One TV station had stories in its newscast that 2/3rds of us here were still out of power, and then later in the newscast reported 2/3rds of us DID have power. Actually, it's more like 3/4ers of us do not. We're not complaining. We know the crews are doing their best, and are so thankful for the many crews which came in from out of town and out of state. I stopped on the street today and applauded a crew which came up from Tupelo, Mississippi to help us in Western Kentucky. I've also seen crews from Alabama, Tennessee and other states. God bless them. The National Guard has done a great job too. They came by to check on us today, along with the other residents in the county. God bless them.
Here is the account from WestKentuckyStar.com, which has been giving the most detailed updates on the power situation:
Debbie Weatherford with Hickman-Fulton RECC says all substations are energized. They have approximately 900 back on with about 2,900 still in the dark. They have 235 additional lineman in from different states. They are trying to repair the three-phase circuits. Weatherford says it may take 2 weeks to a month before power is restored.
(Hint....I'm one of the 2,900)
On the radio, we've heard very good reports from WCMT (1410 AM) in Martin, TN, although the reports have become less frequent as the event has gone on.
One of the linemen from Southern Mississippi said the damage to the power grid here is greater than that in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I believe him. I've never seen or experienced anything like it and pray I never do again. Gov. Beshear says its the greatest natural disaster in the history of Kentucky. I believe him too.
The linemen aren't the only out of state angels. TEMA, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency set a command center in Hickman, KY, the Fulton County seat and has been fantastic in the relief effort. Rather ironic that Fulton County's biggest help in this disaster would come from Tennessee, instead of it's home state but, after all, Tennessee (my native state) IS the Volunteer State. I also think Kentucky is stretched thin and overwhelmed by the scope of the disaster, and let's face it, Fulton County is a small, overwhelmingly poor county. Fulton County Judge Executive David Gallagher has done a fantastic job in fighting for us and doing everything he can to bring attention to the situation in the county, which is perhaps the hardest hit of all the Western Kentucky counties.
Let's keep praying. That we can make it through the cold stretch OK. That we can continue hanging in there. That the over/under on getting the power fully restored is closer to 2 weeks, than a month!!! Looking on the bright side, next month my electric bill should be much smaller!!!