Storm Survivors Thank Operation Blessing

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CBNNews.com - KENTUCKY - Last week's ice storm blanketed most of Kentucky, taking down trees and power lines and leaving thousands without heat or power. After a brief weekend thaw temperatures have dropped to the 20s and 30s.

Ronnie Stanley and his wife Jeanette weren't prepared for the storm.

"I'm 50 years old and it's the worst I've ever seen it, I've been through a lot, even the tornados that hit around us. It's bad, it's really bad," Ronnie Stanley said.

Even though they were without heat, the Stanleys filled their single wide trailer with twelve neighbors and relatives in an effort to keep safe and survive the deep freeze.

"We've had them in both bedrooms, the kitchen floor, the living room floor, recliners have been full, couch has been full, it's been rough," he added.

"We didn't know where to go. There's been nobody through to check on anybody so we didn't know what to do," Jeanette Stanley said.

When Operation Blessing heard about the life threatening conditions facing the Stanleys and other families, they responded quickly.

They delivered one hundred kerosene heaters, a thousand blankets, and other supplies for families in need. The bone chilling cold has been replaced by warmth.

Ronnie Stanley said now is the time for unity.

"It's wonderful that you can do something like this. It's time now for people to pull together. Nobody needs to go cold that's for sure," he said.

Operation Blessing worked closely with the Emergency Operations Center to get help to the people with the most need.

Megan Chaney deputy director Muhlenberg County Emergency Management Agency is grateful for the help.

"Operation Blessing has just been a complete Godsend to our county. Without them there are just so many items that we never would have received. Our community was in such a dire need of some pillows and blankets that we sent to the shelters so they're not sleeping on just cots," she said.

Ray England pastors the Second Baptist Church, which has served as the largest shelter since the storm hit the area.

"We found that there were certain needs we couldn't meet. Resources were getting streached and suddenly Operation Blessing showed up. They came through with some needed paper products. And they helped us with gas for our showers," he said.

Ronnie Stanley expressed appreciation from his heart.

"I just thank anyone that had anything to do Operation Blessing. Just getting these heaters out, they're really appreciated from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys, that's all there is to it. I don't see how we could have made it without ya'll. I really don't and that's the truth," he said.

*Originally aired February 5, 2009

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