National Rural Water Association

2915 S. 13th Street

Duncan, OK 73533

580-252-0629   FAX 580-255-4476

Contact:  Chris Wilson, nrwacw@nrwa.org

February 2, 2009 
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Kentucky Ice Storm Update

 From the Kentucky Rural Water Association

 

      Water and wastewater utilities continue to respond to the ice storm that hit the state last week beginning on Monday evening and continuing through Thursday. Over 700,000 homes were without power at the height of the storm. As of this morning it is estimated that 300,000 are still without power and some rural areas will be without power for several more weeks.
      KRWA has been helping with the recovery efforts by having our Circuit Riders and Wastewater Technicians concentrate on their local areas after taking care of the own personal situations. In Bowling Green, at our office, we were spared from the worst weather. However, 93 of 120 counties and 72 cities have declared emergencies, and all of the Kentucky National Guard has been activated to assist.
      Thanks to Florida Rural Water Association, we have six mobile generators that are being used as power sources for treatment plants and pump stations in Edmonson, Grayson, Hopkins and Ohio Counties. We are coordinating these distributions from Bowling Green with the help of the Warren County Water District, which has served as our staging center.
       The fledgling KYWARN organization has also paid some early dividends as Metro (Nashville, TN) Water Services has provided the South Hopkins Water District and the City of Dawson Springs with three additional generators. A total of five generators will allow them to remain operational and provide drinking water to approximately 12,000 people in one of the stateís hardest hit areas. Metro Water Services contacted the KYWARN network email system and we were able to contact them to coordinate their assistance with the utilities in Hopkins County
       We have also coordinated some shared assistance among our member utilities as their need for generators has passed after getting power restored in their communities. One of our KRWA Board memberís systems was able to deliver a generator that they had rented in Louisville to another system that is still in need instead of taking it back to the rental company. We will continue to act as a command center to try to make these connections that get people back into service as quickly as possible.
      The events of the past week have proved how unprepared we all are for handling widespread emergency situations like this ice storm. Hopefully, this experience will act as a catalyst for a better coordinated utility-driven response network in the future. KRWA is committed to help see that this happens, sooner rather than later. We just need to improve our level of preparedness before the next crisis strikes. 

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