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They study in the classroom, but sometimes, real-life experiences are a better learning tool than anything else could possibly be for a student. That’s what Dana Thomas, a fifth-grade teacher at Washington County Elementary School, was thinking when she had her students complete an on-demand writing assignment for a language arts class. The following three articles were written by students, describing the impact the recent ice storm that hit our community had on their lives and the lives of their families.
And The Worst Part…..
By Gwendolyn Campbell
You wake up and look at your alarm clock. The screen is black as a slate. “Dead batteries,” you mumble. You head downstairs to watch TV, but it won’t come on. “What is it?” you yelp. Well, to answer your question, this is the fatal ice storm of ’09. Follow me as I explain how my family and I survived.
Give Me Electricity
or Give Me Death!
Electricity, in my life, is a necessity. I need to watch Jeopardy. I need my light to read by. I need a refrigerator so my milk doesn’t taste funny. I never thought about what I would be like without electricity, and I thought that I wouldn’t have to worry. I was only partially right. I didn’t have to worry, but I needed to be prepared for whatever came my way. While I was locked up in the house, I went half crazy explaining to Wesely, “Our last name is Campbell, not Cannibal.” I needed to leave the house to protect my health!
The Trees Lost
Crack! I watched stunned as a heavy tree limb toppled over. To my horror, it was aimed right at my rabbits’ cage! BOOM! It landed less than a foot away from my fluffy buddies. Limbs were down everywhere, and I couldn’t take the path through the woods to my grandparents’ house because of the fallen limbs. Later, when I went to my Aunt Cindy’s in Lexington, her yard was twice as bad as ours. Thank goodness that storm is over.
“Survival of the fittest”. That’s what my mom always says. Me being the youngest at 10 and having a 14-year-old brother and a 15-year-old sister with a mean right hook, I had to leave our home and seek shelter elsewhere. Luckily, that evening I was Lexington bound. I was going to my cousin, Rachel’s house. She still had her electricity. I stayed from Thursday to Sunday, and I had a blast! But, after my fun, I came home. A bright home greeted me, but so did a terrible whirring sound. We had gotten a generator! A few days later as Mom and I were driving up the driveway, we got a call from Dad (he was at the Opera House). He told me he had turned off the generator. I groaned. I wanted to take a hot shower when I got home. Once I got inside, out of habit, I flicked a light switch up. A light came on! We had electricity back! Hallelujah!
Well, now you know how I survived and what happened to me. I still HATE power outages, but hopefully we’ll never have one as long as that one.
The Big Storm!
By Austin Bowman
Try to imagine waking up to the sound of loud banging noises. No, it’s not my sister banging on the walls. It’s the sound of trees falling, limbs breaking and ice crackling. This was a sign that the winter storm had taken its toll. Which leads me to why I am writing, which is to tell you how this drastic storm impacted my family and how we survived.
It all started Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009. I was sitting on my bed playing my Playstation 2 and I was just about to win the Daytona 500. Just as I was going to cross the finish line, then boom, the electricity went out! This made my sister very upset. So we tried to wait it out, but it didn’t come back on.
Burr, it’s Cold!
Day one was pretty rough without heat. Day two was even colder. You could see your own breath in the house! We all huddled up on the living room floor with a kerosene heater in the kitchen to heat the house. When we used the heater we cracked the windows open to get rid of the fumes and to circulate the air, but that made it even colder.
During the storm there were trees swaying back and forth. Then two of the trees fell on both sides of my house. There was only one tree left to fall. If it did it would crush the house. One of the trees almost crushed our air conditioning unit. My parents kept my sister and me out of our rooms in case the tree did fall. They were very worried about us.
Surviving this storm was actually quite easy. After the first few hours, we decided to go to the Springfield Inn because my mom and dad were worried about us. Once we got into the hotel room, we all tried to relax for a little while, just until we could figure out what to do. After that we decided to eat. Then my dad went to get the DVD player so we could enjoy some movies. We stayed there for four days. It was much better than sitting in a cold, dark house.
From now on I am not going to leave my lights on. We don’t want to blow another transformer. I am very grateful for electricity and that we all survived.
By Devon Crawshaw
Have you ever woken up saying, “No school! Hurrah!” Well, you should just stop that right now. No one in Kentucky was prepared for this. I’m about to tell you the most terrorizing, dangerous, real-life story about the destructive ice storm in 2009.
Let me just tell you here that iCarly is my all time favorite show. So you wouldn’t be astounded when the power went out and iCarly got shut down. I was devastated! Just as a precaution, my dad went out to check the fuse box, while the rest of us rummaged around for candles. Boom! Crack! “Oh my gosh, what was that?” we yelled. It was gigantic branches snapping in half. It sounded like the train that was on the pond when the ice started breaking in The Polar Express. My whole family was a little worried at this point. Later, the time came when I had to get a drink, so with my candle in a bowl I started to walk. I tried to keep it sturdy, but somehow it wobbled and hot wax burned my thumb. Ouch! Being without electricity was certainly painful. Finally, my family and I turned to I-Spy for entertainment. I was bored out of my mind. At last we went to sleep, but the nightmare was only beginning.
One day Mom and Dad went to Lowe’s and bought a cooking grate so we could cook on the fire. First, we boiled water to wash the dishes (which we had many of by this point). The grate was OK, but it took extremely long to boil water in a kettle. I have to say it was useful though. Every day we boiled two pots of water, one for cooking and one to wash our dishes in the sink. The food was edible, but it was semi-burned. So instead of having sandwiches and such, we had nice, hot soup. It was delicious! This storm reminded me of the Little House books I’d been reading at school. Especially of the great blizzard they had. Little did I know that it would last for nine hard days.
After about three days of living in our cold, old house, we went to live in our second house on Short Street. The main reason for that was because Short Street had power so we could take a shower, eat, etc., but mostly we played on my dad’s Playstation 3, which was a lot of fun. Also I got to watch my brand new iCarly DVD. It was awesome! We always went home to sleep, though, but that was OK. I just couldn’t wait until the nine days were over. Now you see the hardships that my family undertook to survive in these drastic measures. We were lucky we had a second house with power, or I think I would have had a crime scene to clean up at my house. The only thing to do now is hope that it doesn’t happen again, to of course clean up the battlefield we once called a yard.