Thursday, December 12, 2002
Vol. 114 No. 50
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Lo Dee ? and Kings
Pr Re SH Mountain
Since 1889 50 Cents
Worst in KM history?
Thursdays ice storm blacks out city,
estimated financial loss over $400,000
All of Kings Mountain's power
restored by Monday morning
By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
The ice storm that devastated
North Carolina last week is the
worst on record for the City of Kings
According to city officials, the
storm has already resulted in over
$400,000 in financial losses to the
city, far more than even Hurricane
Hugo caused in 1989.
“It was one of the worst disasters
in the history of the City of Kings
Mountain,” said Mayor Rick
A few snowflakes but a lot of sleet
and freezing rain began falling in
Kings Mountain by lunch time
Wednesday, and by late afternoon
and early evening it was freezing on
all power lines, structures and
streets. The city had begun spread-
ing sand and salt on main streets
and bridges as carly; as Tendny . :
ast of Teciy
tion, and that Li keep pee
But by midnight trees and power
lines were falling all over town, and
when residents awoke Thursday
morning the town was totally with-
Along with the county and other
municipalities in the county, Mayor
Murphrey declared the area a state
of emergency. North Carolina
BY ABIGAIL WOLFORD
With the ice storm last week, much prop-
erty damage occurred both from falling
Iciative s home in Cherryville.
fi to the iii sin icy trees |
Governor Mike Easley also declared
the State in a state of emergency.
Government officials hope the feder-
al government will agree, making
them eligible to work with FEMA
(the Federal Emergency
Management Agency) to recoup
some of the financial losses.
Kings Mountain's financial costs
run the gamut from lines, poles and
other materials to restore power, to
contracting for cutting of trees out of
streets and overtime for almost 200
city employees who worked around
the clock. The city used emergency
funds to purchase an additional
chipper truck to help clear debris.
A number of streets around town
were blocked because of downed
trees and power lines. A tree fell
through a house on the corner of
Tracy and King Streets and a woman
sleeping inside was evacuated by
emergency personnel and taken to a
snapped a utility pole, leaving it in
the shape of a 7.
A number of power lines were all
over the streets in the Linwood area,
particularly on Grace Street.
An aggressive year-round tree
trimming policy on utility rights-of-
way probably prevented even more
serious outages in town.
See Power, 2A
By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
Other than the obvious
inconvenience of being
without power and having
to clear their yards of bro-
ken trees and limbs, Kings
Mountain citizens were
spared any serious prob-
lems during last week's ice:
No deaths or serious
injuries were reported here
during the power outage,
which lasted up to five days
in some areas of town.
Mostly, city officials say
ees and citizens.
City employees were on
the street 24 hours a day
from the very first drop of
sleet until the present. Since
power was restored, work-
ers have still be clearing
debris and replacing old
and damaged transformers
“We have a great team,”
said Mayor Rick Murphrey.
“Not only that, we have
good equipment on standby
and good neighbors who
helped each other out. I can
say that this city was pre-
pared. Everybody pitched
right in and never com-
Probably the most visible
city department during the
crisis was the police depart-
ment, which manned traffic
lights at main intersections
limbs and trees and from food spoilage from
the power outage. Now that the damage
has been done, it is time to pay for it.
The local insurance agencies have been
very busy since the storm ended Nearly all
damage caused by falling limbs and trees is
covered by the insurance agencies, and peo-
ple have been calling continually to file
“Virtually everything is covered in this
type of situation,” said Bob Maner of B.F.
Maner Agency, Inc.
Although most of his claims have been for
damage to dwellings caused by falling trees
and limbs, Tony McClure, the manager of
Farm Bureau Insurance, said that most peo-
ple who have insurance through his agency
See Claims, 2A
BY ABIGAIL WOLFORD
“I love teaching. Truly
teachers do shape the
future,” said Betsy Wells,
Kings Mountain High
School drama teacher.
“Teaching truly is a calling.
GARY STEWART / HERALD
Top, utility pole snapped on Hillside Drive bringing power lines sagging to the ground. Bottom, tree
fell on house on Tracy Street.
KINGS MOUNTAIN PEOPLE
It’s been a privilege to be
able to touch the souls of the
students through music and
Wells has now taught over
4800 students in her 33 years
of teaching, she said, and is
beginning to see the children
of her former students in her
classes. In fact, she has even
taught many of her col-
“I'm the oldest teacher in
years of experience at Kings
Mountain High School,” she
said. “Many of the faculty
members, I have taught.”
Wells said that she was
Teaching, drama Betsy Wells’
first drawn into the theatri-
cal world by watching
Mighty Mouse cartoons as a
child. She said she loved it
when Mighty Mouse would
sing. She said she also grew
up in a musical family. Her
dad played the guitar and
the harmonica, while her
529 New Hope Road 106 S Lafayette St.
300 W. Mountain St.
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24 hours a day.
Chief Melvin Proctor said,
surprisingly, there were no
major incidences of crime or
serious accidents during the
storm and days following.
“We were worried about
businesses getting broken
into,” he said. “But during
the entire time we had only
one B&E, and that was to a
When the storm set in on
Wednesday, Proctor said
officers responded to nine
accidents related to icy
roads. But there was not
See People, 2A
mother played the piano
and organ. Her dad even
made tapes where he would
sing all four parts of the
quartet. Her family would
often sing gospel music and
ballads together, she said.
Wells grew up on a
See Wells, 5A
225 Gastonia Hwy.