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Kentucky woman recalls living through 1994, 2009 and 2022 winter storms

In 2009, thousands in Louisville were without power for days after more than an inch of ice encased the city, knocking down trees and power lines.

With nearly back-to-back events, Kentuckiana has had a busy season of winter weather. For many, braving a winter storm can be scary, not knowing what could happen and hoping for the best.

It can also be a time when you take a trip down memory lane.

Who could forget about the 2009 ice storm? Thousands of people in Louisville were without power for days after more than an inch of ice encased the city, knocking down trees and power lines.

That storm led to the state's largest power outage on record. 

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"Schools were out and even trying to walk out of your house," explained Barbara Gilmore, who recalls the storm. "I mean, everything was covered in ice. You know it was hard to deal with because there was no getting it up easily." 

During that time, shelters were set up to make sure people could get warm - but the ice made it difficult for those who needed shelter to get there.

Credit: WHAS11

Gilmore said the 2009 ice storm wasn't the first time she had experienced an unforgettable winter storm.

During the 1994 blizzard, she ended up giving birth to her son on the Watterson Expressway, where she got stuck on her way to the hospital.

"Never did I ever think [it would happen] because I'm a planner," Gilmore said. "But just like in that storm I wanted to protect him and when he was older in the [2009] ice storm I wanted to keep him safe."

To those who remember these historic winter events, Gilmore said families should hold onto those memories - the good and the bad.

"We don't have many storms like that," she said. "Hopefully it was a time where you were safe and the memories were good. At the time we didn't think they were, but now we treasure them."

Contact reporter Gabrielle Harmon at gharmon@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@_GabbyHarmonTV) and Facebook.

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