People who live in Kentucky expect to see at least a little snow accumulate on their lawns each winter, but more than a foot from a single storm? That’s unheard of -- or it was until March 3 of this year.
Late that day, a winter storm -- nicknamed Thor by The Weather Channel -- swept into the south-central part of the US that includes Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
What began as rain eventually changed to sleet, then freezing rain, then snow. And although the media focused most of its attention on the snow and the chaos it caused, the other forms of precipitation tied to the storm were pretty noteworthy too.
The rain initially prompted a number of creeks and streams to push over their banks, for example. Once melting snow joined the mix, some of the state’s rivers flooded as well. (In fact, several areas along the Big Sandy rose to levels that haven’t been seen in 30 years.)
Not Just a Kentucky Problem
Still, the snow mentioned earlier was the star of this particular show, and deservedly so. After all, more than 20 inches of the powdery stuff fell in parts of Kentucky.
Other states also saw a lot of flakes fall from the sky while the storm visited their neck of the woods. Tennessee received as much as 13-and-a-half inches between March 4 and March 6, while Arkansas got up to 11 inches in places.
Snow blanketed a bunch of midwestern and northeastern states too. Ohio and Missouri reported 17 and 15 inches, respectively, in Winter Storm Thor’s wake, while Illinois and Indiana reported 11 inches.
Farther to the north and east, a handful of states had to dig out from under a foot or more of snow after the storm wrapped up. Among them: West Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
As if all of that weren’t bad enough, a number of those states were still reeling from a similarly record-setting storm that had hit three weeks earlier when Thor waltzed into their neck of the woods.
It’s easier than you may think to protect yourself from this kind of winter weather. Just make sure you have ample collision and comprehensive auto insurance (if you own a car) or flood insurance (if you own a home).
Unsurprisingly, all of that snow caused a lot of issues for people who live and work in the Midwest and Northeast. It closed countless businesses and institutions, cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes, and brought both air and road travel to a halt for the duration of the storm.
That last issue was more dramatic and problematic than it sounds. The severe weather stranded hundreds of motorists throughout Kentucky between March 4 and 5 -- to the point that officials asked the National Guard to lend a helping hand. Also, high water and mudslides blocked roads and highways in at least 57 of the state’s counties.
As a result of the above and more, the governors of Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia all declared states of emergency at one point or another during the two-day storm.
Winter Storm Thor and Insurance
Did Winter Storm Thor cause any real damage while it worked its way across the country—especially while it bore down on states in the south-central US? Probably, but statistics that prove it are hard to come by even nine months after the fact.
Still, there’s little question the storm’s byproducts prompted more than a few car and homeowners insurance claims in the days and weeks after it passed.
The good news for the people who filed those claims: standard auto and homeowners insurance policies cover a lot of the perils caused by severe winter weather.
They don’t cover everything, though. Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooded houses, for example. If your goal is to be protected in that way, buy flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.
And if your goal is to be fully protected from the various kinds of damage a winter storm can do to your car, make sure you have ample collision and comprehensive coverage.