A Face to a Storm-Related Death

WHITE PLAINS, KY – Thomas Lacy was stubborn when it came to leaving the tiny community where he lived for the past 84 years, even when a severe winter storm bore down with deadly cold temperatures last week. Relatives found the elderly Kentucky man's body inside his small mobile home, a victim of hypothermia. The powerful storm, blamed or suspected in at least 57 deaths across several states, has left a trail of grief from the Ozarks to the Appalachians. Some, like Lacy, died from hypothermia, others in traffic accidents or from carbon monoxide poisoning caused primarily by improperly ventilated propane and kerosene heaters. Twenty-five of the deaths were in Kentucky, the state hardest hit by the arctic blast that crusted roads, trees, buildings and power lines with up to nearly an inch of ice before sending temperatures plummeting. Hopkins County Deputy Coroner Wayne Burton said Lacy, bundled in a house coat to ward off the frigid air in a residence darkened by a power outage, died from hypothermia.