It was cold last night. Single digits cold. And still 4,000 people in my (relatively urban and high tech) county are without power. In the state, they are a small part of the 271,460 who are powerless. These houses aren't designed for this. Under our hardwood floors there is nothing. Not a second layer, no plywood, no insulation. Just the fir and then the great outdoors.
Our local NPR station, WKMS, (without hyperbole the best NPR station in the world), has done a herculean job of keeping us informed during this disaster. These facts are from their website, which was helpfully updated just minutes before this writing.
59 districts in Kentucky are still under boil water advisories. This is an improvement; at least they have water.
It is probably a miracle that only twenty-five deaths have been confirmed as storm related, so far. People have died from hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, fires, and ambulance delays. WKMS reports that several deaths have been caused by heart attacks that resulted from strenuous activities related to the storm. A couple of days ago, I came downstairs to let a dog out, and thought I was about to witness one. Bill walked into the kitchen, his face a pasty, blotchy, sweaty mess.
"What in God's name have you been doing?" I asked in a calm, composed voice, which didn't approach hysteria no matter what Bill would tell you.
"Just moving a few branches," he wheezed.
"If you have a heart attack, I'll kill you," I shared, in a moment of enlightened spiritual generosity.
The Kentucky National Guard has provided 320,000 meals to individuals and shelters and expects another 210,000 to be delivered soon, and has delivered 650,000 bottles of water so far with an additional 300,000 coming.
There are still folks in our downtown block who have been without power since January 27. Four of the homes pictured above are dark. But it looks a lot better than it did at this time last week:
And they did a fine job getting this pole straightened up and the wires re-strung:
We have to tackle the dogs' side potty yard. (above) But that large limb is hanging on the neighbor's main electrical supply line, and then touching the chain link fence and all the other branches. Soooooo. No. We'll wait for the electric company guys to do their thing.
There have been reports of increased domestic violence. I suppose if you are the type to beat on your spouse and/or kids, you are smart enough to think that beating on them when they are cold will get your power turned on faster. Well, West Kentucky's two jails are on lock down, running on generators and using kerosene heaters, so if that sounds good...
But most of the stories are of the heroic efforts of the people working twenty-four hours to get the power back up. And of neighbors helping each other. Of the rapidity and effectiveness of this President's response, in stark contrast to the Katrina victims who are still waiting. WKMS interviewed a woman who had been displaced to Murray, KY, from New Orleans during Katrina. She loved life in Western Kentucky, so she stayed. She was singing the Red Cross's praise, in a shelter where her neighbor had brought her after days without power.
Now for the challenge from Sweden!
My friend Henrik, of the famous Play A While Whippets at http://henrikharling.blogspot.com/ said:
"Jag blev utmanad att publicera en bild under Mina Bilder på datorn och här kommer den bild som blev resultatet av det."
Or, in English, "I was challenged to publish a photo from my computer by taking the sixth photo in the sixth folder on my computer and above you can see the result." (You'll need to go to Henrik's blog to see his fun photo.) He challenged me to do the same, and since my desktop blew up from one of the power surges, here's the laptop photo:
This is one of my favorite pictures ever. It's Lindy Loo's siblings, Proper (now Topper), Leslie (now Rex), and Francis (now Elijah) on one of their early days in the great outdoors. How could that possibly be two and a half years ago.
Now I get to tag someone. Maybe I can introduce you to some great bloggers!
- Jenn, who is also writing her first novel and is a fine writer: http://fast-dogs.blogspot.com/
- Laurie, who is a professional writer in MN and has a beautifully crafted blog: http://lifewiththreedogs.blogspot.com/
- Barry, whose blog was recently featured as a Blog of Note, after I had found him, and now his 545 followers are enjoying what I had been: http://anexplorers.blogspot.com/
- my Bill, who doesn't promote his outstanding blog, so I will: http://williamfrenzullimd.blogspot.com/
If you haven't visited these blogs, pour some coffee, or tea, or adult beverage and enjoy. Oh, and while you're at it...
hug your hounds