State highway crews in northeast Kentucky prepared for weekend snow plow duty
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2014) – State snow-clearing crews in northeast Kentucky are monitoring the potential for ice and snow late this weekend, and are prepared to respond when the wintry blast hits the region.
Most of Kentucky is under a winter storm watch, as National Weather Service forecasters say rain Sunday will likely change to freezing rain and sleet then snow in the afternoon and overnight hours, with the greatest risk along and north of the Mountain Parkway.
Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 crews have been pre-treating roads with brine in some areas today, as well as readying plows and salt trucks, chainsaws and other storm response equipment. District management will closely watch weather forecasts this weekend, and will call in state and contract crews if needed ahead of the storm so roads can be treated as quickly as possible.
The district has 75 snow plows and about 8,000 tons of salt on hand to fight wintry precipitation on more than 2,000 miles of state highways in Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan counties, and crews will treat roads as necessary. However, with dwindling salt reserves, more emphasis may be placed on plowing.
As with any winter storm, motorists are reminded that it takes time for plows and salt trucks to clear roadways – especially while ice or snow is continually falling, and when temperatures drop into the teens or single digits. Motorists should expect slick conditions during a storm and until all travel lanes are clear afterward, and are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel until that time.
Just as Transportation Cabinet crews are prepared to clear roadways, motorists should also be prepared for driving in snow and ice by following these tips:
- Make sure your vehicle is sufficiently winterized – check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, wipers and windshield washer.
- Check the forecast and call 511, or find out where snow plows are on duty statewide by visiting 511.ky.gov/WinterActivities online.
- Dress warmly for the weather –in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, in anticipation of unexpected emergencies.
- Try to keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent fuel line freezing and to prepare for possible lengthy delays on the roadway.
- Make sure a friend or relative is aware of your travel route, and carry a cell phone.
- Make sure your vehicle has an emergency care kit. It should include jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, blankets, nonperishable food, a first aid kit, and traction material.
- Drive carefully. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Do not use cruise control.
- Give a wide berth to snow removal equipment: Stay at least five car lengths behind plow trucks.
- Remember that bridges, overpasses, exit and entrance ramps can be icy when other areas are not.
- Stopping in snow requires more braking distance than stopping on dry pavement – up to four times more distance. Make sure to put plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead.
- Be visible. Dull, cloudy days will cut down on visibility, so drive using low-beam headlights.
- Steering when skidding. Stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. With newer vehicles with VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) the advice is to let the system handle the skid and to steer where you want to go and not over steer.