Locally, Jan. 26 marked the one-year anniversary of the Eggner Ferry Bridge accident. Luckily, no one was hurt.
I remember where I was when that happened. I was sitting through a Trigg County Board of Education meeting that night, and when my editor told me the bridge had collapsed, I feared the worst, as did many people, including Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Spokesman Keith Todd.
“Those first couple of hours when we first got the phone call that indicated that we had a major incident were pretty miserable,” Todd said. “I could just imagine somebody’s child going off that bridge. It took us a couple of hours before we got to a point where we were 95 percent certain that we didn’t have any fatalities. And then it took another couple of days before we were 100 percent certain.”
Todd said it was “phenomenal” that they were able to replace the fallen span so quickly. The bridge was re-opened by Memorial Day.
He attributed it to the discovery of the original bridge plans from the 1930s.
He also thanked emergency responders and everyone else that made sure everyone was safe and made sure no one was on the bridge or in the water that night.
This week also marked the fourth anniversary of our most recent ice storm, which claimed 65 lives in the country, 35 in Kentucky and one person in this county.
I was one of the lucky ones. I was only without power for less than two days and was able to stay in a warm local motel room for a couple of nights.
I was especially lucky because I was making spaghetti when the power went out, and I forgot to turn the oven off. I say lucky because while my apartment smelled terrible, the oven didn’t start a fire, and everything was intact.
So many were without for not just days but weeks or even more. But so many people in this county (and state and country) worked together. A lot of people displayed incredible leadership for those many weeks.
It’s a testament to how damaging it was that there is still to this very day debris left over from the ice storm.
This week also marks the anniversaries of some of our space disasters.
On Jan. 27, 1967, the Apollo 1 caught on fire during a test, claiming the lives of all three astronauts: Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
On Jan. 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after lift-off, claiming the lives of all seven astronauts: Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith and Dick Scobee.
On Feb. 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry, claiming all seven astronauts: Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David M. Brown, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon.
Astronomer Phil Plait said it best this week when he talked about these fallen astronauts. “I hope that we have become better through your experience, and that, while we will never forget what happened to you, we will also remember what you were trying to do, and what you did do.”
Franklin Clark is a reporter for the Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.