Kentucky transportation crews stand ready for incoming winter weather

Kentucky transportation crews stand ready for incoming winter weather
More flurries are expected later this afternoon. (Source: Pexels/stock image)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has snowfighters ready for action as forecasts call for periods of light snow to fall Thursday in western Kentucky into Friday morning.

Cold temperatures and water on roadways, particularly in elevated areas, can create slick conditions.

Drivers are advised to travel with caution during their morning commute.

Three-quarters of the Cabinet’s district highway offices have crews reporting in at midnight through the early morning hours.

"We're thankful for the nearly 2,000 state employees who serve on the frontlines throughout the winter season to keep Kentuckians connected and safe on the roads," said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We want everyone to make it to their destinations safely. If you see snowfighters treating or plowing roads, please give them plenty of room to work and remember to reduce your driving speed during inclement weather conditions."

In addition to anticipated snow, at least 72 sections of state roads have been reported closed due to high water and slides, primarily in western Kentucky.

“This is the second significant statewide weather event since November and our crews will be monitoring conditions late tonight and responding appropriately to keep Kentuckians safely moving," said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. "After rounds of rain in several parts of Kentucky and cold temperatures expected tonight, drive with caution, especially on bridges and overpasses. If you encounter a flooded road, please turn around and do not attempt to drive through it."

During routine snow and ice events, crews operate using snow and ice priority route maps for maximum efficiency of equipment and materials usage.

Additionally, KYTC has expanded the use of automatic vehicle location units to more than half of state-owned trucks.

This technology captures air and pavement temperatures, speed data, and salt or liquid distribution rates during response activities.

The Cabinet’s snow and ice information website, snowky.ky.gov, provides details about priority routes, helpful winter weather tips, fact sheets and videos on salt application and snow removal.

Tips for driving in the snow KYTC encourages motorists to prepare for winter and remain safe by following these tips:

  • Stock vehicles with ice scrapers, jumper cables, blankets, a flashlight, cell phone charger, non-perishable snacks and first aid kit.
  • When snow and/or ice are on roadways, drive slowly no matter what type of vehicle you’re in. It takes more time and distance to stop your vehicle in adverse weather conditions, so break early and slowly.
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shaded areas. These are all candidates for developing black ice—a thin coating of clear ice that can form on the pavement surface that may be difficult to see.
  • Travel only as necessary during major snow events. It’s better to be stranded at home than on the road.
  • Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment.
  • Do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.• Allow more time to travel for routine commutes.
  • Know before you go. Download the free Waze app or visit goky.ky.gov to check traffic conditions before you travel.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving (e.g. using phone and eating).
  • Cooperate with the expectations of the Quick Clearance law, which requires drivers to move vehicles to the shoulder in the event of a non-injury crash.

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