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Alan W. Reed: Open letter - Knifley Pipeline Exposion

Adair County School Superintendent Alan Reed was awakened by the Knifley Pipeline explosion this morning and was one of the earliest to arrive at the scene. He was allowed access to restricted areas because of his position and the need to determine whether the situation would affect pupil transportation. Despite the enormity of the event, the manner in which First Responders handled the situation left him impressed with their professionalism and capacity to cope with a situation they had trained for and had hoped would never come. He details the experience in this open letter, shared with local media, including CM.
Click on headline for complete story with photo(s). Also, CM - ColumbiaMagazine.com is coordinating Up to the Minute reports on the Knifley Pipeline Explosion with FM 92.7 The WAVE and 99.9 the Big Dawg, with Larry Smith

By Alan W. Reed, Adair County School Superintendent

To the Adair County School District Parents and Students

Early this morning, around 1:30amCT, residents of the Knifley Community were awakened by a violent explosion. The explosion could be heard and felt as far away as Campbellsville and Columbia, each around 10 miles away. Flames leapt 400 or more feet into the air as a 36 inch gas main ruptured, and rocks and debris made passage across part of KY 76 impassable. By a little after 2amCT, I was on the scene, as was David Jones, our Transportation Director.


As I arrived at the cross-roads, there was Jason Rector of our staff involved is traffic control. I could also see Kathy Tucker, who has been with our district for many years in various capacities, up on a hillside . I could not get to Kathy, but I understand her home suffered much damage from flying rocks violently thrown from the earth as a result of the explosion. I am thankful that Kathy and Brad were not hurt.

This morning our concern is students who were disrupted from their sleep thinking who knows what? The young people were very traumatized, though, thank God, none were injured so far as I know. While it was fairly easy to figure out a bus route to by-pass part of 76 covered with large rocks and debris, we don't want to forget the human element. Let's keep in mind those young people who lived near the site of the explosion, and who woke up terrified. If at all possible we plan to officially excuse them from classes today.

Mr. Harmon, our DPP, and I are working on a form to make this official excuse as easy as possible. Each school office should receive a copy of this excuse form early this morning. Please help us make them available to affected families. Any other excuses that are hand-written will also be accepted.

If anyone is aware of upset students in our schools this morning, please see that they are comforted by one of our counselors.

At this point I don't know who else to mention by name, but would like to thank the many responders who handled the situation with professionalism and compassion. I didn't see a single one of them panic---they handled the situation as they has had drilled.

To all of our staff, faculty and students from the Knifley area, please know that all of us here in the central office and throughout the district are thinking of you and your families. We are all here to support you.


Please contact me if you have suggestions on how we can better help during this time.

- Alan W. Reed, Superintendent
Adair County Schools
1204 Greensburg Street
Columbia, KY 42728

270-384-2476


This story was posted on 2014-02-13 07:36:18
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Firemen at scene of rubble blocking KY 76, Knifley



2014-02-13 - KY 76 w of Knifley, KY - Photo iPhone photo from Alan W. Reed.
This photo is taken about .6 of a mile West of the KY 551/KY 76 crossroads on KY 76/Elkhorn Road. Rubble blocks the road now. There is intense heat, and the smell of gas is in the air according to Superintendent Alan Reed. Mr. Reed was in the area to see how the gasline explosion would impact school buses, and at this point, THERE WILL BE SCHOOL IN ADAIR COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TODAY.

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One of three currently known residential fires



2014-02-13 - Knifley, KY - Photo by Alan W. Reed.
This is one of three residential fires
I saw while surveying the impact of the gas line explosion in Knifley, KY. I was struck by the orderly manner and professionalism of the police, fire departments, and other first responders addressing the situation. They were doing the job they have spent countless hours preparing for, hoping the time never comes that the training will need to be used. This morning it was needed. And it is paying off. - Alan W. Reed
Coordinated coverage of the Gas Line Explosion being carried by Larry Smith and the news teams at WAVE 92.7 FM and the Big Dawg 99.9 and ColumbiaMagazine.com

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Knifley Pipeline Explosion - Fire from a distance



2014-02-13 - Knifley, KY - Photo by Alan W. Reed.
For a period of time flames roared over 300 feet into the air. This shot was from 551 roughly 2 miles south of the Crossroads. - Alan W. Reed
Coordinated coverage of the Gas Line Explosion being carried by Larry Smith and the news teams at WAVE 92.7 FM and the Big Dawg 99.9 and ColumbiaMagazine.com

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Vehicles of first responders at Knifley pipeline explosion



2014-02-13 - Knifley, KY - Photo by Alan W. Reed.
First responders including five area fire departments were on the scene this morning following the Knifley pipeline explosion. These were on KY 76, Elkhorn Road, about one-half mile west of Baker's Store - Knifley United Brethren Church - Knifley Area Volunteer Fire Department. - Alan W. Reed
Coordinated coverage of the Gas Line Explosion being carried by Larry Smith and the news teams at WAVE 92.7 FM and the Big Dawg 99.9 and ColumbiaMagazine.com

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Knifley Explosion: Much of Elkhorn Road site covered with rubble



2014-02-13 - .6 mile west of Crossroads, Knifley, KY - Photo by Alan W. Reed. Knifley Area Volunteer Firemen are pictured here on what is left of the road bed on Elkhorn Road/KY 76 west of Knifley. The road is now closed from the Crossroads in Knifley on the East to the Eastridge Cemetery Road on the west.
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