In Sanders, neighbors help clear debris after Ike's visit

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By Phyllis McLaughlin



The News-Democrat

The buzz of chainsaws filled the air Monday morning and afternoon, as residents in Sanders worked to clear away debris from one of the worst windstorms in recent memory.

The path of Hurricane Ike, which swung on a northeasterly course Sunday after coming ashore Saturday in Texas, left a 200-mile-wide swath of destruction in about 12 other states, including Kentucky, according to Weather.com.

While most residents in Carroll County did not lose power in the storm, the entire city of Sanders did.

Power was still not restored by press time Tuesday.

Resident Michael Dermon on Monday was busy working with others to clear tree limbs and other debris away from utility poles at the corner of Sparta-Sanders Road and State Hwy. 47, next to the railroad tracks.

One tree limb had taken down the power line there; next door in Helen Eaden’s yard, a large pine tree was snapped in half and a large cedar tree was felled.

Dermon said he and the others were helping out, hoping to make the job easier for the power company. “We need electricity, so we are cutting the trees away to help KU get done quicker.”

Kentucky Utilities crews were working throughout the county Monday and Tuesday working to restore power.

Cliff Feltham, a KU  spokesperson, said Monday the power company had 75,000 customers without power in the 77 counties it serves. On Monday, about 1,500 KU customers in Carroll County were still without power, he said.

Alma Elliott, who lives on Sparta-Sanders Road, said her home sustained some damage to the underpinnings, and she planned to have someone inspect her roof. But other than a downed cable line in front of her porch, everything was fine.

“Mostly I was worried about my canopy,” which shelters her car, she said.

Her next-door neighbor, Wilma Raisor, sustained more damage, with a large tree down on one side of her house and a utility pole laying across an outbuilding.

“I took her a hot meal from the grill last night,” Elliott said.

Elliott said her daughter lives in Aurora, Ind., which also was hard-hit by the storm. “People there lost complete roofs,” she said.

Elliot said she’s lived in the house for 11 years, after losing her previous house in the 1997 flood.

In the 1960s, she said, she was living in Florida when Hurricane Alma struck, too.

“But I’ve never seen a hurricane come this far out.”

Volunteer firefighter Tom Abercrombie of Sanders was driving around town checking to make sure everyone was OK.

“We have a lot of trees and electric lines down,” he said. “The last we heard, it’s unknown how long it will be” before power is restored, he said.

Abercrombie said the fire department set up generators at Valley Haven Nursing Home, which cares for about 38 male residents with varying degrees of disabilities.

Administrator Tammie Scroggins said getting the generators from the fire department is part of the emergency plan at the facility.

Scroggins said the generators provide power to keep refrigerators and medical equipment operating, as well as fans. The stove and water heater both operate on propane.

“So, actually, we’re doing really good,” she said. “The guys are still able to eat and bathe.”

The generators, however, were not supplying power to the television, leaving the residents to find other ways to pass time, playing cards and other games.

“Considering all that’s happened here [in Sanders], we’re really, really lucky,” she said, sitting with the outer door open to bring light into her dark office. “Everyone is stopping buy to see what we need. ... As long as the men are taken care of and getting their medication, I’m fine.”