MAGOFFIN COUNTY – Like much of the region, Magoffin was hit hard by the second winter storm that hit Monday night, knocking most of the county out of power and making roads completely impassable.
Accumulating freezing rain and sleet-covered roads, making travel nearly impossible, countless trees fell that night, blocking roads, tearing down lines, splitting electric poles in half and damaging homes and properties throughout the county.
Warming stations have been set up at the Lloyd M. Hall Community Center and the Salyersville Fire Department and will remain open for people without heat sources during the aftermath of the storm.
On Tuesday morning Magoffin County Judge Matt Wireman issued a state of emergency for the county, allowing the county to ask for state and federal assistance in cleaning up the roadways and restoring utilities throughout the county.
Just before press time on Wednesday, Wireman told Mortimer Media Group that Kentucky Power’s major problems have been with transmission lines and they have had workers using bulldozers to install poles today. The major priority right now is to get power out to the county water pump stations so the county keeps water services, but there is no estimated timeline for the power to be restored.
As for Licking Valley RECC, there are over 3,000 customers out of power in Magoffin County, alone, with approximately half of those served by the Sublett Station. They estimated having that on by tomorrow (Thursday), which would help a large number of people in the Meadows and Royalton areas.
County road department crews are still working at clearing the roads of trees and debris so they can open all roads, then they will start trying to salt and scrape the roadways.
Right now, the road crews are working from daylight to dark, but Wireman said some of the areas of the county still look like a war zone.
“The north end of the county is awful,” Wireman said, noting that while they have cut the majority of the trees to be able to make the roads passable, they will take a lot more work to clean out the “tree tunnels” that are there right now.
“The emergency personnel have been working nonstop through all of this,” Wireman said.
He urged the community to only call 911 in emergency situations only and for neighbors and families to do welfare checks on the elderly and vulnerable populations.
“We have to prioritize everything, and we simply don’t have the manpower to check on 200 to 300 people,” Wireman said.
“Check on each other. Neighbors and family need to be doing these checks whenever they can. I know and I understand. I would be worried to death if I had a loved one in a vulnerable position, but we just don’t have the manpower. We are truly in a state of emergency.”