Western Kentuckians Recovering from Winter Storm '09

By Arnold Wyrick

GRAVES COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - Nearly one week after one of the worst winter storms in history and some 50,000 residents in western Kentucky are still without power.

The Mayfield-Graves County airport is the main distribution point in the county for folks who are looking for food, ice and kerosene as they try to recover from the storm.
On Tuesday the line of cars seemed to never end as one after another people picked up their supplies.
The power is back on in parts of Mayfield, but the rural areas are still in the dark.  Only about 50 percent of the phones in the county are working.
That's why relief efforts are so crucial to people's survival.
"It's extremely important. We're running six families out of one house.  We've been without power since Tuesday," said Tammy Williams of Mayfield
"We're doing the best we can with our wood stove, being together with our neighbors. We're doing our best combining two families in there.  So this is going to really help stretch things," said Joyce Wilken of Mayfield.
With temperatures expected to dip below the freezing mark again, kerosene is in short supply.
"A lot of people are using kerosene heaters and we're running out of kerosene," said Dwayne Redman director of Emergency Management in Graves County.
"So far we've gone through two thousand gallons of kerosene that we've been giving away to the people who absolutely need it."
Kentucky's National Guard soldiers are on duty to help ensure everyone's safety.
"We're doing what's called presence patrols in each county with law enforcement to provide a presence, to give the citizens some comfort that there are people watching out for their needs," said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Bennie Richardson.
U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield also stopped off in Mayfield to assure the mayor, that the federal government would continue helping with the recovery efforts.
"My reason for visiting the western Kentucky region is to get a firsthand look at the damage, the recovery efforts and to meet with local leaders to hear what their immediate needs are, along with their long term needs," Congressman Whitfield said.