10 year anniversary of the 2003 ice storm

Good Saturday and welcome to the weekend. Old man winter has returned to the bluegrass state, but this is nothing compared to what was going on 10 years ago. A major ice storm was in the process of crippling much of our region on this very day in 2003.

The setup featured cold high pressure to the north with an area of low pressure just to our south:

The cold air dome was very shallow with warm, moist air surging in over top of it. That allowed for rain to fall into sub freezing temps at ground level. The rain would instantly freeze on everything it came into contact with.

For those of us who lived through that event, we all have countless stories to tell from back then. For me, it’s the sound of trees cracking from the weight of the ice and the blazing of the night sky as transformers were taken out.

1″-2″ of ice covered everything in Lexington and surrounding areas, leaving millions of dollars in damage. Some stats from that event:

– 280,000 customers were without electricity for days. For some, it would be nearly a week without juice.

– More than 3,000 power poles were destroyed and 800 transformers had to be replaced.

– Cleanup costs for utilities and local governments exceeded 60 million dollars.

The cold air that followed the storm kept the ice from melting for nearly a week. Ironically, deadly tornadoes would strike eastern Kentucky just a few days after we thawed out.

Have a great Saturday and take care.

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