The Winter Storm of 2004 pretty much paralyzed the Tri-State, but some of us still had to work!

Christmas was basically canceled in 2004, that's what happens when it snows around 2 Feet in 24 hours. The National Guard had to rescue people that were stranded in their cars. At that time, I was a 9-1-1 Dispatcher at the Gibson County Sheriff's Dept. Not going in to work was not an option! And the emergencies did not stop for the weather. In fact, it made things very difficult. Imagine needing a liver transplant ASAP, but every road is impassable! That actually happened! I talked with my friend, Dave Brogan, who was dispatching during the storm, and had some of the most memorable calls happen (Good and bad) of his career, over the course of the storm. Here are a few of them:

That particular night, I was working by myself with the jailors. A lady from Oakland (who I believed was a College Professor, or had been) needed a liver transplant. I coordinated efforts with the National Guard and surgery team in Louisville, and Jimmy Deffendoll, with the Oakland City Fire Dept. coordinated her pick up and transport in the field. She got the transplant needed and lived several more years!

 

Becky Beadles, another dispatcher, also stayed on the phone with a man for a very long time another night of the storm. He had fallen through glass and severed an artery in his arm. The National Guard had to get him to an Evansville hospital. I don't know how he lived and I cant remember if he kept the arm or not. That was one of the worst things I worked in my career.

 

Their was a lady trapped in her car in a snow drift, and had her child with her, she said (because she was panicked) If I didn't get someone to save her and her baby, I would be responsible for their deaths personally. We had people stuck in their cars for so very long. We we worried about tailpipes of running cars causing carbon monoxide to back up into the passenger compartments. We overloaded the capacity of incoming 911 calls and shut down the system. It locked up, and people were scared to death and panicked. It was hours or days until we got everyone out and accounted for.

I'll be ok if we never see 2 Feet of snow again LOL!

Actual footage of me dispatching / freaking out!

Source, National Weather Service Paducah

This winter storm was accompanied by gusty north winds that produced drifts up to 5 feet deep. Many roads were closed or impassable. Interstate 64 in southwest Indiana was closed for about three days due to extensive drifting. On Interstate 24 in western Kentucky, a 29-mile long traffic jam formed from Trigg County into Lyon County. An estimated 1,000 people were stranded in their vehicles overnight. The National Guard was mobilized for both the Interstate 64 and Interstate 24 incidents. Traffic was reported stopped on other interstates as well, including the interchange of Interstates 55 and 57 in southeast Missouri. Record cold low followed the snow, with temperatures as low as 10 below on Christmas morning.