Winter storm causes property damage, water and electic outages, business and event closures

Posted February 17, 2021 at 9:26 am

A pair of winter storms that moved across the eastern half of the nation, brought a coating of ice, then a thick blanket of snow to Albany and Clinton County, shutting down businesses and services and altering schedules of a host of events.

Beginning late Sunday evening, the first storm system moved across this region of the country and impacted Clinton County with a thin layer of ice that caused travel problems on Monday morning as the local workforce began heading out.

With plenty of lead time prior to the arrival of Sunday’s storm system, state, county and city road crews had plenty of time to per-treat local highways, roads and streets, and continued to work throughout the inclement weather all day Monday in an effort to keep passages clear.

A considerable level of the traffic was lighter than normal on Monday in light of it being a legal holiday, Presidents’ Day, with local courthouse offices, the U.S. Post Office, banks and several other government and many businesses already closed.

On Tuesday, after the county was coated in a layer of frozen sleet followed by more ice and then snow, Albany took on the appearance of a town on Sunday morning, with hardly any businesses open.

Most all retail outlets, and most all of the town’s restaurants were closed.

While some of those closures were related to the hazardous road conditions and frigid temperatures that followed, other issues included a lack of city water in much of the town and county, apparently due to a tree that had fallen across power lines in the vicinity of the water treatment plant in the Seventy-Six Community.

The lack of electricity left the Albany Water Department unable to operate it’s pumps that move water through the local transmission lines that distribute water to customers in Clinton County.

Monday night’s ice storm brought down trees across Clinton County, knocking out electricity to residents and businesses throughout the county.

Joy Bullock, spokesperson for South Kentucky RECC, noted on Tuesday morning, that at one point, at least 19,000 customers across the power company’s service are, had been without electricity.

“The majority of the outages has been due to tree limbs. Ice adds a great deal of weight to tree limbs and power lines, causing the limbs to snap and fall on the lines, breaking them,” Bullock reported in a press release issued Tuesday morning.

“Restoration, which began around 3:30 yesterday continues. SKRECC crews have been working nonstop. The ice storm, which continued after restoration began, made it difficult to make any progress,” Bullock said. “Every time a section of line would be restored, additional outages would be reported. Road conditions, as well as ongoing weather conditions, have slowed restoration tremendously.”

Bullock noted in the press release that the company was doing everything in it’s power, including bringing in additional crews, to restore electrical service as soon as possible.

“The co-op hopes it can make good progress today. In addition to SKRECC crews, contract crews are assisting, and more crews from sister co-ops in Kentucky, as well as from out-of-state, are expected to arrive today to help with restoration efforts,” Bullock said.

In addition to the SKRECC utility crews working to restore electrical service, road crews from the Kentucky Department of Transportation, the Clinton County Road Department and the City of Albany Street Department, worked throughout the storm to not only pre-treat highways, roads and streets, but to clear snow and ice after the storm arrived.

Other emergency crews, including the Albany Volunteer Fire Department, along with volunteers from across the county, were also working throughout the night across Clinton County to clear fallen trees from roads and buildings.

Schools in Clinton County were also already set to not be holding classes on Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day, and classes were also canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week due to the winter storm that moved through the area.