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Emergency power support after Kentucky ice storm

Published Feb. 7, 2009

Responding to 68 counties across 28,000 square miles and in freezing temperatures, the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM), supported by teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, rapidly reacted to the needs of Kentuckians. These teams of dedicated, hard-working professionals, some victims of the storm themselves, immediately began to assess the needs of the areas affected by the worst natural disaster in Kentucky's recent history.

More than 145 industrial-size generators were installed at critical facilities such as shelters, hospitals and nursing homes in just six days. To put this into perspective, during Hurricane Gustav, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 105 generators in only 10 days, under much better weather conditions. 

"These results, a true indication of success, are a testament to superb teamwork and cooperation of local, state and federal authorities," stated Brigadier General John W. Heltzel, Director of KYEM. "Working together, we have been able to make outstanding progress and we continue to recover from the storm."

On this assignment, FEMA was not able to pre-position generators throughout the Commonwealth to speed installation because this was a no-notice event.