Winds exceeding 40 mph, power outages, flying debris and snow accumulation possible in some areas
FRANKFORT, KY (Jan. 8, 2024) – Kentucky state highway crews are on alert for any travel impacts caused by rounds of strong winds beginning this evening and continuing into Wednesday morning. Kentuckians are advised to secure any objects that cannot be brought inside and motorists driving high-profile vehicles should exercise extreme caution when winds are strong.
“Strong gusty winds as high as 40 mph mixed with rain can pose some serious safety concerns and we want everyone to take precautions ahead of and during the event,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has advised that a strong storm system will sweep across Kentucky this evening, bringing high winds and rain. Tuesday night into Wednesday morning brings a chance for a wintry mix in the north-central, east-central and south-central parts of the state. Motorists in high-profile vehicles like SUVs, trucks, vans, and towing trailers are more likely to be moved by strong gusts of winds and are advised to take extra caution by slowing down and keeping both hands on the steering wheel.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) staff are on high alert, monitoring the weather and ready to respond should downed trees or debris hinder travel on state-maintained routes.
“Strong winds can be just as hazardous as snow and ice,” said KYTC Jim Gray. “If you are on the road during periods of high wind gusts, slow down, keep a safe distance from other cars or safely pull over. It’s important to stay weather aware this week as winter weather and cold temps are expected in the coming days.”
Check the goky.ky.gov map for traffic conditions before you travel. The map also offers access to select traffic cameras on interstates and parkways.
To follow live updates for Kentucky watches, warnings, or advisories, please visit alerts.weather.gov.
Tips for driving during strong winds:
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel
- Slow down
- Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially high-profile vehicles such as semi-trucks or campers that could be pushed out of their lane by winds
- Watch for flying debris that may blow into the roadway
- If winds are too severe to drive safely, pull onto the shoulder away from trees or other tall objects that could fall, turn on your hazard lights and wait until conditions improve
- If you encounter a dark traffic signal, treat is as a four-way stop
What to do if you see a downed power line:
- Report it to your local utility company
- Do not try to clear it yourself
- Stay clear and avoid anything touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches