Road Conditions Poor, Travel Not Recommended
Update as of 6am, Thursday, March 5 for the Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 including the counties of Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet road crews have been on the road in plow trucks all night and are still plowing and salting as needed - concentrating on I-64, AA Highway, US 23, US 60 and other main Priority A routes - but snow continues to fall at such a rate that snow is piling up behind plows and creating completely covered, slick roads across the district.
All state highways are classified “completely covered” by snow, with air temps 18-26 and pavement temps 28-34. Travel lane markings are obscured and roadway surfaces are slick. Multiple crashes have been reported overnight. Avoid unnecessary travel.
Previous crashes blocking I-64 lanes at the 118 and 119 mile markers in Bath County west of Owingsville have been cleared and traffic is again flowing. A structure fire on KY 7 has closed the road at mile marker 7 in Elliott County at the Little Sandy River near the KY 32 intersection.
Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 is responding to and/or currently monitoring traffic and roadway impacts affecting motorists in northeast Kentucky.
State highways are being cleared on a priority basis, meaning heavily-traveled routes such as I-64, the AA Highway, US 68, KY 11, KY 32, US 60, KY 7, US 23 and others are plowed first. Secondary and rural roads will be salted and plowed once main routes have been cleared.
Crews will remain on 12-hour shifts and will continually plow snow from highways during the storm, but plowed areas can quickly become re-covered behind plows, and the intense snowfall rate expected - especially Thursday morning - means travel lanes even on priority routes likely will remain snow covered until well after the storm ends.
High water covering state highways will impact snow-clearing efforts as plows will not be able to crossed flooded areas. Crews are adjusting routes to clear as much of the flooded highways as possible, but residents should note that there could be areas – especially along secondary Priority B and C roads – that might not be plowed until floodwaters recede.
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, high water or closures were reported in the following areas:
KY 3303 at Plummers Landing in Fleming County, milepoint 0-0.5
KY 324 in Mason County near Mill Creek, milepoint 10-10.3
KY 989 at AA Highway in Lewis County, milepoint 12.6
KY 854 at milepoint 0-1 at KY 1654 and the Boyd-Carter county line
KY 784 in Greenup County near Kehoe at KY 2, milepoints 9-11 and 11-12
High water signs placed on KY 5 near Little Garner in Boyd County
KY 36 at Pecks Pike Road in Bath County, milepoint 2.9-3.4
KY 211 at McCullough Hollow Road in Bath County, milepoint 5.8-6
KY 3290 at Mud Lick Creek in Bath County, milepoint 0.9
District 9 has approximately 75 snow plows and more than 15,000 tons of salt stockpiled to fight winter weather; and, statewide, the Transportation Cabinet can deploy 1,000 snow plows and 385 contractors with plows, but has responsibility for 63,000 lane miles of roadway. It will take time to clear all highways, possible several days.
The northeast Kentucky region faces a combination of dangers in the coming days: Snow that could take days to clear from roadways, flooding that could hamper snow removal, the possibility of downed trees and power lines, and extreme cold. While state road crews will be out in force to clear highways and deal with these issues, Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 encourages everyone to avoid travel and take appropriate precautions.
To remove snow and treat roads effectively, plows must travel slower than other traffic. For safety, please stay at least 100 feet from plows, watch for snow plumes, and do not crowd the plow.
If travel in snow or other wintry weather is necessary and unavoidable, motorists should slow down, buckle up and use extra caution when driving by maintaining a “space cushion” for maneuverability by maintaining a safe distance of at least 500 feet between vehicles.
Kentucky traffic and travel information is available by dialing 511 or online at: http://www.511.ky.gov
(story provided by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet)