Salt truck and snow plow crews in northeast Kentucky are ready to roll as an approaching winter storm threatens the region with freezing rain, snow and ice.
In Kentucky Department of Highways District 9, crews spent the day sharpening chainsaws, putting chains on trucks, loading salt, and preparing for an extended winter weather response.
By midnight tonight, all crews will be stationed at facilities in Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, and Rowan counties ready to respond, and will remain on road clearing duty around the clock until the winter weather threat has passed.
The National Weather Service expects a wintry mix to move into the region overnight, with freezing rain, sleet, and snow at multiple times Wednesday and Thursday. From 1 to 3 inches of snow and significant ice accumulations are possible.
Damage to trees and power lines is likely – a condition that poses its own dangers to highway crews and can delay road clearing efforts. The potential for single-digit cold temperatures by the weekend could impact the effectiveness of road salt, which works best when temperatures are above freezing. Motorists are strongly advised to avoid any unnecessary travel over the next several days.
During the storm, Kentucky Department of Highways crews will work 12-hour shifts, focusing on keeping high-priority state routes, such as interstates and parkways, passable. Crews then concentrate on heavily traveled state routes before turning to lower-volume routes. With the expected ice and arctic temperatures, Kentuckians should be prepared for several days of snow-covered roads.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has established a snow emergency plan to deploy resources within each county, as needed, to cover routes based on priorities such as high traffic volume and connectivity to hospitals and other critical services. Snow priority maps for each county can be viewed online at http://SnowKY.ky.gov
(provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, District 9)