City of Paducah preparing for upcoming extreme winter weather

PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - With the forecast of dangerous cold weather and the potential for several inches of snow, the City of Paducah Engineering-Public Works and Parks Department crews are preparing to initiate efforts early Sunday morning to battle the winter storm.

Crews will be spreading rock salt on Sunday in addition to plowing the streets once the snow begins to fall. Please be aware that rock salt loses its effectiveness when the temperatures drop to 18 degrees or below. The forecast is for the temperatures to drop quickly Sunday evening into the single digits with temperatures not expected to rise above freezing until next Wednesday or Thursday.

City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, "The City crews will focus on clearing priority routes first as quickly as we can. The City has 450 lane-miles of roadways and six snow plows."

Murphy adds, "Please use caution on the roads and around the snow plows which travel at approximately 20 miles per hour. Even after a plow makes a pass on a road, there is often a thin layer of snow or ice that remains which can be quite slippery."

With the extreme cold weather and below zero wind chills in the forecast, Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle has some important safety reminders to prevent structure fires.

  • Portable space heaters should never be left unattended and should not be used with extension cords.
  • Heaters need adequate space. Keep all combustibles at least three feet away from fireplaces, stoves, and space heaters.
  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Exercise caution if using a heating device to thaw frozen pipes. Try not to leave the heating device unattended.

Chief Kyle adds, "Since this storm is not expected to begin until the second half of the weekend, I encourage families to take some time Saturday and check smoke alarms in your home. These life-saving devices should be located on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. Also, make sure to practice your fire escape plan with your family."

If you must travel Sunday or while the extreme cold weather continues, Chief Kyle recommends that you stock your vehicle with essential supplies including an ice scraper, flashlight, a charged cellphone, cold weather gear such as gloves, boots, or a blanket, and kitty litter or a similar product to help increase traction in case you get stuck in the snow.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.