Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Crews Battling Winter Storm Izzy

Heavy wet snow still carries the potential for downing trees and power lines

FRANKFURT, Ky. (WTVQ) (OUT)Winter Storm Izzy brought heavy snow and hazardous driving conditions to many areas of Kentucky, particularly central Kentucky and the southern corridors of Interstate 75 and eastern I- 64. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) snow and ice crews worked throughout the day to help keep traffic flowing.

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

The Louisville National Weather Service predicted the heaviest accumulations — up to 8 inches — along and east of a line from the Lake Cumberland area, to the I-75 corridor.

The combination of heavy snow and intermittently steep terrain made I-75 in southern Kentucky particularly problematic, with intermittent traffic between Mount Vernon and London. Along the eastern corridor of I-64, heavy snow quickly covers the roads after snow removal.

“Our Transportation Cabinet teams are prepared and working hard, but they need the public’s help and cooperation. That means not driving unless absolutely essential,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. “Traffic was actually lighter this afternoon which helped our ability to clear snow and treat the roads. Our thanks to the driving public.

Preparations for Izzy actually began before the weekend with the pre-treatment of bridges, ramps, overpasses and causeways in areas considered most likely to receive precipitation.

KYTC crews and contractors began showing up at county maintenance facilities on Sunday morning — shortly after midnight in some districts — to load salt and gear and begin patrolling.

Once a storm starts, snowplow trucks stay on the road. But during long periods of continuous precipitation, snow can quickly accumulate behind plows. Motorists should limit their movements and only venture out when essential.

For those who must travel, be aware of changing road conditions – remember that snow will accumulate between plow passes – and drive carefully. Reduce speed, keep safe distances between vehicles and give snow plows plenty of room. Monitor traffic conditions at GoKY.ky.gov online or use Waze.

Heavy wet snow still carries 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

Road safety is a shared responsibility, especially in bad weather when the risks increase. KYTC encourages motorists to prepare for winter and stay safe by following these tips:

  • Only travel when necessary during major winter weather events. Stock vehicles with ice scrapers, jumper cables, blankets, flashlight, cell phone charger, non-perishable snacks, and a first aid kit in case you get stuck on the road.
  • Winterize vehicles. Have your car’s battery, tire pressure and brakes checked. Make sure your heater, defroster, headlights and windshield wipers are working properly.
  • When there is snow and/or ice on the roads, drive slowly, regardless of the type of vehicle you are in. It takes more time and distance to stop your vehicle in bad weather conditions, so brake early and slow.
  • Pay attention to weather advisories and allow extra time for daily trips.
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, exit ramps, bridges or shaded areas. These are all candidates for the formation of black ice – a thin layer of clear ice that can form on the surface of the roadway and can be difficult to see.
  • Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy road equipment and do not overtake 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 card also offers access to certain traffic cameras on highways and parkways.
  • While driving, eliminate distractions such as eating or using a phone.
  • Obey Kentucky’s Quick Release Law: Move vehicles to the shoulder in an accident without injury.
  • Throughout the winter season, KYTC will shine a spotlight on the men and women across the state who serve on the front lines and behind the scenes of the Cabinet’s snow and ice control efforts. Follow @KYTC and like us at facebook.com/kytc120. Follow your local KYTC Highway Department District Office on Twitter and Facebook for regional transportation updates. The Cabinet’s snow and ice information site, snowky.ky.gov, provides priority route details, helpful tips on winter weather, fact sheets and videos on salt spreading and snow removal.

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