State snow plow and salt truck crews are prepared for another weekend of winter weather duty across northeast Kentucky.
Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 crew members in Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan counties prepped equipment today, and are on call to start work as needed Saturday night – depending on the timing of an expected winter storm.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter advisory for the region beginning between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday night. Rain is expected to change to scattered snow showers, with a sudden drop in temperatures that “will also lead to a flash freeze and hazardous driving conditions,” the NWS said. High winds could reduce visibility. And lows could dip into the teens in some areas.
Highway crews will be watching forecasts and monitoring conditions Saturday, and will deploy in plows and salt trucks when rain changes over to snow or ice.
Motorists should be prepared for slick travel Saturday night and Sunday – slow down, buckle up, leave a “space cushion” between vehicles for safe maneuverability, and remember that bridges and overpasses can freeze before roadways. In addition, this storm is likely to create wide-ranging conditions, so a clear highway might suddenly turn snowy and slick around the next curve.
Motorists should also keep in mind that freezing rain or ice accumulation is the hardest to remove from roadways as plow blades are less effective and salt can bounce off frozen surfaces. Low temperatures in the teens or single digits also reduce the effectiveness of salt and other snowfighting chemicals.
Highway crews are prepared to work around the clock on 12-hour shifts to battle the storm but, depending on the type and severity of the storm, it could take a longer period of time to get roads clear. Motorists should plan travel accordingly.
During winter storm operations, District 9 crews have more than 13,000 tons of salt stockpiled and use more than 75 snow plows and other equipment to keep 2,000 miles of northeast Kentucky state highways passable.
You can learn more about Kentucky Transportation Cabinet snow removal efforts, and view snow removal priority routes, online at http://SnowKY.ky.gov
(provided by Kentucky Department of Highways, District 9)