NewsCovering Kentucky


The ice storm of 2009: 13 years later the memories remain vivid

UK snow
Posted at 6:55 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 19:43:53-05

MERCER COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Mercer County Judge/Executive Scott Moseley will take his bourbon neat. No need to ask him if he wants ice. In fact, don’t even say that word around him.

“Cringe. Absolutely. Makes me think who I know with a generator? How much water do I have? Is there enough cereal and milk to survive?”

Moseley wasn’t the Judge/Executive in 2009, but he was living in Mercer County in 2009 when the area was among the most severely hit by an ice storm that now gets an anniversary remembrance each year.

“I remember looking out and seeing how beautiful it was when we saw it. Then after I saw it, I saw the tragedy that started following,” he recalled.

24 people across the Commonwealth were killed in that storm, which lasted for three days. More than 600,000 people were left without power for days, if not weeks after tree limbs and power lines came crashing down under the weight of up to two inches of ice, and several inches of snow on top of that.

“The scope that that ice storm covered was much more vast than the one we had (six years) earlier in Lexington,” said LEX 18 Chief Meteorologist Bill Meck. “That just covered a lot of real estate and is considered one of the greater storm impacts in the state of Kentucky.”

Meck, who, of course, follows these storms for LEX 18 but never overreacts when one pops up on his radar and appears headed for central Kentucky, said our neck of the woods is just ripe and always will be for repeated ice events during the winter months.

“Because we’re not exactly north, we’re not exactly completely south, so yeah, a lot of times we get stuck in those belts of sleet and freezing rain,” he explained.

Meck said the 2003 Lexington storm and the 2009 storm cleared out a lot of vegetation, which would make having similar damage somewhat unlikely if we were to get hit with a comparable storm. But he never said we’re immune from some very damaging results.

“Each one of our weather threats has its own unique set of consequences. For ice storms, the main consequences are the breaking of the trees and damaging of power lines,” he said.