storm

David Spillman, an employee for the Barren County Road Department, stands beside a dump truck load of salt. The county road department, as well as the Glasgow City Street Department and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, stood on alert Monday afternoon to begin salting roadways the minute weather conditions worsened.

As word spread that an ice storm was expected to hit the area sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning, people began rushing to the grocery store to buy the necessities.

“It’s been real busy,” said Roy Whitcock, manager of Houchens Market on Happy Valley Road.

Customers were snatching up bread, milk and eggs. “They have already brought me bread twice and they are going to have to bring me some more,” he said.

That was at 3 p.m. Monday.

Whitcock heard customers comment they hoped the expected ice storm wasn’t going to be as bad as the one that hit southcentral Kentucky in 1994.

David Spillman, an employee with the Barren County Road Department, didn’t think it would be.

“We’re a lot more prepared now than we were then,” he said. “We have a lot more equipment and salt to work with. Back then I don’t think we had but one salt truck. I think we’ve got six salt trucks now.”

Spillman was working for the County Road Department in 1994 and remembers going out to clear roads that were blocked by ice-laden trees.

“Everybody got a chainsaw and went out to a different district,” he said.

They worked to clear one lane on the county’s major roads. After getting one lane open, he said, they then went back and began work to better clear the roads.

“We worked probably a week just getting the roads opened up to where people could get around,” he said.

Spillman lives in the Hiseville community and remembers it took him an hour to get from his house to the main highway. His family was without power for nearly a week, and borrowed a generator from the local fire department to operate their refrigerator and freezer. Other families, he said, were without electricity a lot longer.

Billy Ray, superintendent of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board, wasn’t expecting the storm to be as bad as the one in 1994.

“The utility-specific forecasts we are getting don’t sound like it will be as bad as 1994, but I emphasize the word forecast,” he said Monday afternoon. “We are better prepared. We have more equipment and we have a disaster plan in place that will aid us in responding and working with other utilities. I hope we don’t have to use it though.”

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