Apparently I spoke too soon when I said the current ice storm wasn't quite as bad as the one in 2003. According to the New York Times:
Much of Kentucky remained blanketed in ice Friday as more than 600,000 homes and businesses were still without power after being hit this week by the worst winter storm in memory. Utility officials warned it might take two weeks before all electricity was restored.
Emergency officials in three of the hardest-hit cities — Paducah, Owensboro and Benton — said that utility workers were doing everything they could, but that there simply were too many felled lines, especially in remote areas of the state, to move any faster.
Although the storm left more than 1.2 million people without power as it stretched from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania last Saturday, Kentucky was hit hard Tuesday night and into Wednesday, causing the largest power failure in state history.
And in Time Magazine:
Life has come to a standstill in Kentucky, and it's difficult to imagine just who in the Bluegrass State had the more miserable Super Bowl weekend. For those half-million residents who were still without power Saturday night (and 200,000 who were also reported to be without water), this past weekend involved shuttling between one of the estimated 172 emergency shelters that have been operating across the state since Wednesday.
As for state officials, the weekend involved a rapid reassessment of just how dire the situation had become. Speaking out the day after some local municipalities decried a lack of federal or state emergency relief, Gov. Steve Beshear described the fallout from last week's ice storm as the state's largest-ever natural disaster. He then activated every last member of Kentucky's National Guard, dispatching all 4,600 Guardsman to assist with the statewide crisis.
Most reports of the chaos have focused solely on the numbers: 700,000 Kentuckians thrown into the dark last Tuesday, nearly 200,000 of those concentrated in Louisville alone, with more than a dozen deaths now being investigated.
(First photo: Paducah, KY, swiped from the New York Times. Second photo, Spottsville, KY, swiped from Time.)