KY road crews ready for next winter storm - Heavy rains changing over to freezing rain, sleet, then snow

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 4, 2015) – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) highway district road crews are preparing for yet another winter storm set to hit the state today and continue into Thursday morning.

Crews are monitoring road temperatures and watching for changing weather conditions, standing by ready to keep roads safe for Kentucky drivers.

A strong weather system bringing a combination of heavy rain, snow and sleet is forecast. Rains will soak areas throughout most of the state today. As temperatures drop, rain will change to sleet and freezing rain, followed by snow. The National Weather Service said snowfall could be heavy at times with some areas getting a foot or more.

Melting snow from the most recent storm, combined with heavy rains today and more snow and freezing temperatures tonight, create the potential for emergencies such as flooding, slides, rock falls, downed trees and ice, among others. Drivers are urged to be alert to changing road conditions as this storm continues.

The public should also be aware that local flooding that blocks roadways likely will disrupt or prevent snow plowing in affected areas.

Heavy rains also preclude pre-treatment of roadways. KYTC crews typically use a brine solution, a salt and water mix, to coat roadways prior to a snowfall. But brine washes away in rain. However, crews are standing by as the storm edges closer.

KYTC can deploy 1,000 snow plows and 385 contractors with plows, but has responsibility for 63,000 lane miles of roadway. The cabinet also has deployed SAFE Patrol trucks – Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies – whose drivers are trained to render emergency assistance. SAFE Patrol units operate along interstate routes, parkways, U.S. 23 and KY 80.

If travel cannot be avoided, motorists are advised to slow down, buckle up, rid themselves of distractions such as cell phones and keep extra distance – at least 500 feet – between themselves and other vehicles.

Snow removal efforts are initially focused on interstates and other major routes. Crews tend to secondary and rural roads once main routes have been cleared.  To view the priority network for snow removal, go to and select a county.

Keep up with KYTC news via Twitter,, and Facebook, Traffic and travel assistance is at or by dialing 511.


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