FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. — Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 9 crews have been investing time and effort in northeast Kentucky spot treating roadways, and preparing for an even larger storm forecasted to reach the region on Friday.
Allen Blair, public information officer, for KYTC District 9, said that as of 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, highways were mostly clear, with some slush or spotty snow cover on back roads. Salt truck and plow crews will continue to spot treat roadways.
“Right now, roads are in pretty good condition right now. We’ve got them reduced to only a little bit of snow on the back roads, so most routes are clear, or clearing, and the rising temperatures are going to help that today,” Blair said.
With reports from the National Weather Service predicting an overnight storm that is expected cover the region with possibly eight to 12 inches, or more, of heavy wet snow Friday and Saturday, KYTC is preparing for the worst.
“Our main focus right now is preparing for this storm, so we’ve been making sure that all of our supplies are topped up. We have plenty of salt, that is not a worry,” he said. “We did make sure that our calcium chloride tanks are full. Today our priority will be at the end of the shift to make sure that all of the plow trucks and diesel tanks are fueled, that all chainsaws are sharpened, and we are stocking up on hydraulic hoses, oil, fluids and things such as that so that we will not have to worry about those things. During the storm we want to be able to pull into the maintenance facility and just do whatever we need to do for the truck.”
Air and pavement temperatures are averaging about 24 degrees, and are expected to rise to near freezing. Motorists should continue to treat wet or snow-covered pavement as potentially slick.
State highway crews will remain on duty throughout the storm and will work around the clock to plow roadways, but with the expected heavy rate of snowfall and potential for drifting snow, roads will likely remain snow-covered until after the storm subsides on Saturday. Motorists should plan accordingly, and avoid travel altogether if possible.
“We also have contractors for tree removal on call just in case those are needed. We are expecting a heavy, wet snow which could lead to a lot of trees going down,” he said. “This could take a tremendous amount of work to get it all off.”
“People should not expect the roads to be cleared immediately. With this kind of snow, especially with the heavy snowfall and the rate that it is expected to come down over the course of the day, we will keep the plows running continuously,” he said. “It is not likely at all the roads will be cleared until after the storm ends on Saturday.
KYTC requests that motorists travel with caution, and only if necessary. Safety practice such as the use of seat belts and maintaining a safe driving distance during travel be implemented as well.
For more information visit: District 9 online at http://bit.ly/D9Snow. Or, keep up to date on Twitter and Facebook at http://twitter.com/KYTCDistrict9 or http://facebook.com/KYTCDistrict9.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.