KYTC "forcing" pre-treating routes ahead of expected winter weather

·4 min read

Jan. 14—Another round of winter weather is expected to threaten the commonwealth this weekend, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 7 states they are "forcing" pre-treating routes in preparation.

In a press release sent out Friday morning from the cabinet, KYTC said road crews were busy Friday pre-treating bridges, overpasses and routes through brine.

"The pre-treatment of "salt brine" helps to melt and prevent ice from forming on road surfaces. The "salt-brine" is a salt water-type treatment," the release said. "This procedure is a very affordable, pro-active approach to address roadway safety concerns."

In addition, the released stated the traveling public should be aware of potential inclement weather for a portion of this weekend and that District 7 is monitoring the forecast closely. Snow and ice personnel are on standby and will respond as deemed necessary.

This new statement from the state cabinet of transportation comes after they received heavy backlash last weekend when many motorists were stranded for hours on the interstate which several deemed had not been treated whatsoever.

"I was frustrated, because normally when a big snow is coming, I see salt trucks everywhere," said Richmond-native Marlana Lynn. "Yesterday, I did not pass a salt truck in Lexington and never saw a salt truck pass until about 4 p.m. I think the state department let a lot of people down yesterday. However, I was stuck and I couldn't turn around. I'm just thankful I'm okay and was not involved in any accidents yesterday. The roads were the worst I've seen."

However, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 7 said they did "everything possible in preparation" and the winter weather caused roadways to "deteriorate quickly."

According to the National Weather Service, light snow is expected to move in from the northwest before turning into a rain/snow mix in southwest/central Kentucky. This precipitation will expand farther to the east on Saturday, the NWS stated early Friday.

Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey said he is continuing to monitor the weather conditions and give updates.

"We continue to watch a winter storm on track to impact our weather as we get into the upcoming weekend. The extent of that impact certainly depends on where you live with central and eastern Kentucky being in the main impact zone," he wrote in a Friday afternoon update.

In an updated breakdown from the meteorologist, he stated a winter storm watch is now out for much of central and eastern Kentucky. This will likely get moved around a bit as we get closer and will be upgraded to a warning. Winter Weather Advisories will also be issued for other areas of the state.

Bailey predicts a period of light snow will move into the state Friday night and early Saturday. This will then expand farther east during the day and should be good for some light accumulations. That's especially the case south of the Interstate 64 corridor.

"Overall, this isn't a big deal," he said in his update.

However, a band of heavier snow will impact areas of far western Kentucky during this time.

Low pressure is expected to move into the Tennessee Valley and weaken Saturday night and early Sunday. A stronger low then develops across Georgia and into the Carolinas and rolls up the eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains.

"This puts areas of central and eastern Kentucky in the line of fire for potentially heavy snow and some sleet and freezing rain Sunday into Sunday night," Bailey shared.

Several inches of snow will show up in this area, he said, but there's going to be a super sharp cutoff on the western slide of the accumulating snows. This looks to show up near the Louisville and Cincinnati areas, but this is still subject to change.

Given the fact this will be a heavy wet snow, some power issues may show up for any area getting four inches or more. Snow is predicted to taper off Sunday night with snow showers putting down additional light accumulations for Monday.

Motorists are encouraged by the KYTC to plan their routes during winter weather by accessing links and apps for the latest traffic and travel information, check weather reports and adjust your starting time, and let others know when to expect you.

If you must travel, emergency agencies such as the Madison County EMA highly recommend drivers winterize their vehicles, as well as their homes. The Madison County EMA shared tips and lists of what can be included in a winter emergency kit that should be stowed in drivers' vehicles. These include: portable charger, batteries, blankets, food, water, booster, cables, tire pump, a bag of sand or cat litter for traction, maps, flash light, first aid kit, battery-powered radio, plastic bags and flares.

For home safety tips, EMA recommends the following: installing a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, insulating the walls or the attic, caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, never leave lit candles or flames unattended, bring your pets indoors, dress warmly and limit exposure, have your chimney flue inspected, and stocking your winter kit and pantry in your home.

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