In the early hours of Friday morning Jan. 22nd Logan Countians woke up to ice. From tree limbs to electric lines the beautiful glistening scene quickly turned into a treacherous stage as snow began to accumulate by daylight, adding to the already dangerous conditions. Several inches of snow covered the Logan landscape causing drifts that are still keeping some at home hoping for temperatures to rise and the sun to shine.
Many people in Logan County pulled together to help one another during this weekend of winter weather. It is impossible to list all of those who braved the bitter cold and dangerous elements to clear roads, transport those who were experiencing emergencies, and bring citizens heat and food.
Numerous agencies including Logan County’s Search and Rescue, Logan County’s Emergency Communications Center, the rural and city fire departments, city and county road crews, doctors and nurses, law enforcement, the ambulance service, and electric companies such as Pennyrile, Warren Rural and the Electric Plant Board, all risked their lives to assure the safety of others during one of the worst snow falls in the last decade.
“I really think this one was worse than last year,” said Terry Cole, chief of Logan County Search and Rescue. “The ice was what made it so different. Ice before snow and then on snow makes it an impossible situation.”
Several members of the Search & Rescue came out early Friday morning and didn’t come back in until Saturday night. They took generators to the nursing home in Auburn, assisted nurses who needed to get to the hospital and nursing homes, assisted the local ambulance service with roads they couldn’t get ambulances down, and helped clear debris from the roadways. All the volunteer fire departments were out helping as well.
“It was terrible out there,” said Cole.
Paul Lyne, superintendent of the Logan County Road Department agreed with Cole saying, “The ice made it much worse than last year’s snows.”
Lyne said it was the drifts that also made it so bad.
“It’s Monday and we still have roads like Locus Grove, Kenny Stratton, Stevenson Chapel and the Gordansville area that are impassable due to drifts. But we are working as fast as we can,” said Lyne.
Magistrates Barry Jo Wright and Dickie Carter have been helping, said Lyne. Without the many farmers in Logan County Lyne added, it would be a total mess.
“We’ve had a lot of help from farmers,” Lyne said. “From Dan Cox to Scotty Harper, we couldn’t do it without them. There are so many more not mentioned.”
Lyne said he is hoping the temperatures, added with the coming rain, will help break down the existing drifts still present. If not he may have to take a backhoe and loader to tear them out.
“We have gotten a lot of complaints about snow buildup on driveways from the plowing,” said Lyne. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the time or resources to clear out every driveway. If there is an elderly or sick citizen that can’t get out due to the build up caused by plowing let us know and we will come help.”
Several trees came down in North Logan, said Lyne.
There are 500 individual roads in Logan County and only seven plows and eight employees at the road department.
“We are working as quickly as we can and ask for patience from the citizens of Logan County,” Lyne said. “We know it’s hard and frustrating, but we are working to get to your roads.
Wayne Thomas, utilities director of the City of Russellville, said his crews have also been working around the clock to get the streets cleared.
“It hasn’t been easy,” said Thomas. “We couldn’t begin until it stopped snowing. We couldn’t pour slat until it stopped snowing. When there is ice that is a total different story.”
Thomas said city street employees were out Thursday night working in shifts. When Friday came around and the snow started to fall they worked on pushing the snow first. Then salt was applied.
“The crews are still out today and will be working throughout the day to clear the streets. We are trying to get them clear so citizens can get out safely and kids can get back to school,” Thomas added.
A special thanks to the workers at Pennyrile Electric, Warren Rural Electric and the Electric Plant Board for getting out as well to repair lines and get electricity back up to areas that suffered outages. Lineman braved the ice and snow while up bucket trucks and poles.
The main roads are clear and a good deal of the side roads in the county are clear as well. With the temperature rising and the call for rain, the county should be back to normal by mid-week thanks to a great deal of community support.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.