“Church Responds to Costly Ice Storm,” Ensign, Apr. 2009, 79
A deadly ice storm killed at least 42 people across the United States, 30 of those in the state of Kentucky, as it swept from the southern plains to the East Coast. Many members’ homes were affected, but no members or missionaries in the storm’s path were killed.
Kentucky declared 101 counties and 75 cities in states of emergency. In Kentucky alone, the expected cleanup costs exceeded U.S. $45 million.
The ice storm, which started on January 27, 2009, cut off power to 1.3 million people and forced more than 6,500 people from their homes. Two weeks later, 35,000 customers across Kentucky continued to experience power outages.
Local priesthood leaders worked with community and state officials to assess the needs of the people in the areas and to administer Church assistance. Bishops’ storehouses in Carrollton, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Slidell, Louisiana; and Tucker, Georgia, sent several truckloads of relief supplies to the people in need.
The Church provided blankets, hygiene kits, cots, water, food, and other supplies to several Red Cross shelters in Kentucky. Members and others who had critical and special needs received generators. The Church also sent chain saws and other supplies to support the volunteer cleanup efforts.
More than 1,350 Church members worked the weekend after the storm to clean up the damage. Their efforts totaled more than 16,000 hours of service.