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Mother Nature’s worst was met with Trimble County’s best last week.
As quickly as the winter storm covered roads with snow and ice, local volunteers and emergency personnel came to the rescue.
Within hours of the first snowflake making landfall, thousands of the county’s residents found their homes dark and cold as thick coats of ice and falling tree limbs pulled power lines from poles.
Deep snow impeded some from leaving their houses, while fallen trees that blocked a number of roadways trapped others. Though many had alternate heat sources, such as gas fireplaces or wood burning stoves, others faced the prospect of being trapped in frigid temperatures, possibly without necessary food or medication.
Then the cavalry came.
Employees for the county and state road departments worked tirelessly to keep roads passable as the snow and ice kept falling. The county’s solid waste workers were sent out with chainsaws to cut and remove the trees and limbs that blocked the paths of snowplows and emergency vehicles.
Officers from the Kentucky State Police and Trimble County Sheriff’s Office worked long hours rescuing those stranded by the storm, as did volunteers with the Milton and Bedford fire and rescue departments and the Trimble County Search and Rescue team.
Whether it was kerosene that was needed or a ride to the nearest shelter, so many in the county put the needs of their own families on the back burner to serve others in the community.
Several involved in the effort had no power at their own homes, but appeared more worried about their neighbors’ situations than their own.
One member of the county’s emergency response team was still on the job Friday, despite his father-in-law passing away two days prior. And a volunteer at one of the two shelters set up in the county lost her uncle on Thursday, but was still fixing meals and tending to the needs of others Friday afternoon.
When talking to many of the people involved in the “official” snow emergency response, each commonly praised other departments and credited “neighbors helping neighbors” with keeping county residents safe in this storm.
Although the utility companies are still working to repair some issues in the county and there is more snow predicted for the area on Tuesday, after this edition of the newspaper has been sent to the printer, in the coming days life will hopefully return to normal in our community.
As the last bit of snow melts away and you fall back into your usual routine, don’t forget to thank the people who were looking out for you last week.
To the volunteers who cooked meals, entertained children and reassured the homeless or heatless as they spent time in temporary shelters set up at Morgan Community Center and Milton Methodist Church, you are appreciated.
And to the neighbor who used his tractor to clean back roads and private drives and the man from the county road crew who spent more hours on the road last week than in his bed, you made the storm bearable.
To the police, fire and other emergency crews, you went above and beyond the call of duty and provided invaluable services to us all.
And finally, to everyone who checked on elderly neighbors, offered to baby sit small children while schools were closed or shuttled families to shelters, your community is grateful.