UPDATE: Road crews out, worst snow in the Lake Cumberland/I-75 corridor

Many roads, bridges pretreated days ahead of storm

UPDATE POSTED 1:30 P.M. JAN. 16, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) snow and ice crews are geared up for the full-force arrival of Winter Storm Izzy, especially in the central and eastern two-thirds of the state.

“As always with major winter storms, public safety is our top concern and our top priority,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “The single most important and effective way to stay safe in extreme winter conditions is to strictly limit travel and remain at home as long as possible.”

KYTC crews in much of the state expected to be battling heavy snow, with possible icing, mainly east of the I-65 corridor. The National Weather Service at Louisville predicted heaviest accumulations – up to 8 inches – along and east of a line from the Lake Cumberland region, up through the I-75 corridor.

“Our Transportation Cabinet crews are prepared and working hard but need the public’s help and cooperation. That means not driving unless it’s absolutely essential,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said.

Preparations for Izzy actually began prior to the weekend with pretreatment of bridges, ramps, overpasses and roadways in areas considered most likely to have precipitation.

KYTC crews and contractors began reporting to county maintenance facilities Sunday morning – shortly after midnight in some districts – to load salt and equipment and begin patrolling.

Once a storm begins, plow trucks will stay on the road. But in extended periods of continuous precipitation, snow can quickly pile up behind plows. Motorists should limit travel, venturing out only when essential.

For those who must travel, be mindful of changing road conditions – remember that snow will pile up between snowplow passes – and drive carefully. Reduce speed, keep safe distances between vehicles and give snowplows plenty of space. Monitor traffic conditions at GoKY.ky.gov online or use Waze.

Wet, heavy snow always carries the potential for downed trees and power lines. KYTC crews will respond with chainsaws when and where possible, but residents should be prepared for power outages.

 Keep Kentucky Moving Safely

 Safe roadways are a shared responsibility, especially during inclement weather when risks increase. KYTC encourages motorists to prepare for winter and remain safe by following these tips:

  • Travel only as necessary during major winter weather events. Stock vehicles with ice scrapers, jumper cables, blankets, a flashlight, cell phone charger, non-perishable snacks and first aid kit should you get stranded on the road.
  • Winterize vehicles. Have your car battery, tire pressure and brakes checked. Make sure your heater, defroster, headlights and windshield wipers are working properly.
  • 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 poor weather conditions, so brake early and slowly.
  • Pay attention to weather advisories and allow more time to travel for routine commutes.
  • 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.
  • Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment and do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.
  • Know before you go. Download the free WAZE app or visit goky.ky.gov to check traffic conditions before you travel. The map also offers access to select traffic cameras on interstates and parkways.
  • While driving, eliminate distractions such as eating or using a phone.
  • Abide by Kentucky’s Quick Clearance law: Move vehicles to the shoulder in the event of a non-injury crash.
  • Throughout the winter season, KYTC will be highlighting the men and women across the state who serve on the frontlines and behind the scenes of the Cabinet’s snow and ice removal efforts. Follow @KYTC and like us on facebook.com/kytc120. Follow your local KYTC Department of Highways district office on Twitter and Facebook for regional transportation updates. 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.

ORIGINAL STORY [POSTED 8 P.M. JAN. 16, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Stay home and let the snowfighters handle it. That’s the advice of the Kentucky Department of Highways as a massive winter storm promises to blanket the northeast region in heavy snow this weekend.

Highway crews in most counties will report for duty beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday with all salt trucks and snow plows ready to roll.

The National Weather Service expects 3 to 8 inches of snow to fall through Monday morning with locally higher amounts in heavier snow bands Sunday afternoon when snowfall rates could exceed 1 inch per hour. Visibility could be limited.

Plow trucks will stay on the road throughout the storm. But, with continuous precipitation expected for more than 24 hours, snow will pile up behind plows.

It’s likely roads will remain snow covered until after the storm is over. Motorists should limit travel – if you don’t have to be on the roads, stay home and give plow crews the time and space needed to get them clear.

If you must travel during the storm, be mindful of changing road conditions – again, snow will pile up between plow passes – and drive carefully: Take it slow, keep safe distances between vehicles and plows, and give yourself plenty of time to reach destinations safely. Monitor traffic conditions at GoKY.ky.gov online or use Waze.

In addition, the snow is expected to be wet and heavy – with possibly some light ice – which could bring down trees and utility lines. Crews will respond with chainsaws when and where possible, but residents should be prepared for power outages.

During winter storms, Kentucky Department of Highways crews are assigned 12-hour shifts to plow and treat roads on a priority basis – part of the Transportation Cabinet’s mission to keep state highways passable and maintain mobility along critical corridors.

Priority A routes include critical state routes and those most heavily traveled such as interstates and main roads between counties or to hospitals, which receive the highest priority for snow-clearing efforts. Priority B and C routes include other important but lesser-traveled state routes.

Please visit http://SnowKY.ky.gov for more info, including maps of priority routes. Updated snow response information is also available by following Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 on social media at http://Facebook.com/KYTCDistrict9 or https://twitter.com/KYTCDistrict9.

PUBLIC PREPARATION

Motorists play an important role in safe travel during snowstorms – by being prepared. Remember:

–    Pay attention to weather advisories. Weather will impact travel on some level, so prepare for a slower commute.

–    Travel only as necessary during major snow events. It’s better to be stuck at home than to be stuck on the road.

–    Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment.

–    Do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.

–    Winterize vehicles.

–    Stock vehicles with blankets, flashlight and an emergency supply kit.

–    Know before you go. Visit goky.ky.gov and download the free Waze app to check traffic conditions before you travel.

–    Eliminate distractions (e.g. using phone and eating) while driving.

–    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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