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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
This story was posted on 2014-02-13 07:36:18
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