Sunday, February 15, 2015

KYTC prepares for several days of dangerous roads

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews across Western Kentucky are on alert and prepared to respond to a winter storm that expected to sweep across the region tonight and into Monday. The National Weather Service at Paducah has issued a Winter Storm Warning from 6 p.m., today, through 6 p.m., Monday, with accumulations in the 6 inch range for most of the area.

Due to extreme cold temperatures accompanying this system, motorists should be fulling prepared for hazardous driving conditions for about the next 3 to 4 days. The cold temperatures will mean a flat tire or dead battery that might normally be an inconvenience can become a life-threatening situation very quickly. If you plan to travel, even short distances, make sure you are fully prepared for the extreme conditions. Wear clothing appropriate for the temperature and weather conditions.

If you have an extended commute and feel compelled to try to make it to work, please consider planning to stay at a site closer to your workplace. You should also consider carrying emergency food and water supplies, as well as taking extra clothes in case you are unable to make it home.

The colder than normal temperatures create the opportunity for a very dry and fluffy snow. Combined with the wind, this provides an opportunity for drifting which adds an extra element of hazard to this event.

KYTC crews have pre-treated most highways across the region. That will help in the early hours of the event. Crews will be getting plows on the road fairly quickly as the snow starts to accumulate. However, once temperatures drop below about 18 degrees the salt and other ice-fighting chemicals being spread will have greatly reduced impact. That will severely limit the ability of highway personnel to improve driving conditions. This is likely to be an issue on the morning commute Monday.

Highway crews will be putting in extra effort on Monday in an attempt to get highways as clear as possible before overnight temperatures plumett on Monday night with lows getting down into the single digits through the week. Again, the extreme cold will provide another level of hazard for anyone who ventures out. Please be prepared.

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