1. 11 months ago in February of 2008 we had a ice storm
in Marion Kentucky. We had a beautiful Hackberry tree in our back yard
and the weight of the ice in that storm split the tree like a banana. The
weight of the branches tore the power line from our home. We were without
power for a week and we lost the tree.
2. In the Spring of 2008 lightning struck three home on our block and it destroyed 2 TV's, 1 Satellite receiver, 1 digital receiver, 1 wall outlet, 1 surge protector, 1 computer modem and 1 pool pump just in our home. The surge came from all directions, antenna, telephone line, satellite cables and power lines.
3. When Hurricane Ike blew threw Marion it rip my storm door off it's hinges and ripped half our shingles off our roof.
4. Now in January of 2009 we had this ice storm. My tree was gone so it could not fall on our line. I thought I was prepared for this storm until I realized that nothing worked in our home except our natural gas stove and water heater. At least we had water. Until I heard the rumor from neighbors that they (city- county) were going to shut off the water. I thought about Katrina and said, "No this is not going to happen". I found out that my dial phone worked and I called Ed Whitfield and told him we needed generators for our water pump and warming center (school). I also started calling Marion Commons at 0630 (no answer), 0730 (no answer), 0830 (no answer), 0840 and Fred Brown answered and listened to me. As it turned out he had already called our state government and congressmen for the generators.
Since 4/11 our city services worked as planned in an emergency in Marion Kentucky. Since 9/11 we as a community have updated our city hall, fire services, police force, county services, rescue services to work as a team in an emergency; that happened and they reach out for help immediately and got it fairly swiftly from federal sources and state governments.
What did not work was the communications to the public. The best communications I heard in the first 5 days was a an emergency management signal ( this is a test of the ........) from Clarksville TN radio station on my battery radio.
What is needed is backup power for water and sewer supplies
and our local radio station.
Words & Graphics by Tomas