There are power trucks parked on our street. Guys with chainsaws in our woods. A sense of hope in the house.
We are far from alone. As of this morning, 20,000+ Indiana residents and 100,000+ Kentucky residents in the Louisville area remain without electricity. (In addition, more than 100,000 remain without power near Cincinnati along with 200,000+ around Columbus, OH.) Some of these people may be waiting as long as another week for power; the utility companies continue to find new nests of downed lines and broken poles, all of which add to the time required for repairs.
The city governments have set up shelters; the Red Cross and other charities are providing meals. But this ordeal is proving intensely difficult for those who live on limited incomes and have had to throw away all their food, and those with medical conditions that require oxygen or other electric-powered equipment. As it happens, Louisville is hosting the Ryder Cup (a golf tournament that is important enough to merit its own entire section in the newspaper each day), and many people — including me — resent the attention and money being poured into a sporting event while tens of thousands of citizens are suffering.
And somehow, despite the fact that this is the most widespread damage any of the local utilities have dealt with in their history; despite all the people without electricity and, in many cases, water and/or phone; despite the depth of the ordeal that has hit our citizens and businesses; we’ve remained largely absent from the national news. A friend who lives on the west coast had no idea any of this had happened. Everyone knows that Hurricane Ike hit Texas, but no one outside the Midwest seems to know that the hurricane also hit Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio.
It has been and continues to be a monumentally strange ride.