Gov. Bevin warns Kentuckians to "to stay off the roads and prepare for any inconvenience" during potential winter weather

01/21/2016 03:09 PM

Gov. Matt Bevin is warning Kentuckians to take caution and avoid roads ahead of what is predicted to be a major winter weather event on Friday.

In a statement Bevin said that some areas of the state could become impassible as the storm is expected to pummel Kentucky and the eastern United States.

“The National Weather Service has projected snowfalls of up to a foot or more in most parts of the state,” Bevin said. “Some areas may experience icing and white-out conditions with wind gusts up to 30 mph.

“These harsh conditions may complicate our ability to effectively clear the roadways and provide essential services throughout the Commonwealth,” Bevin continued. “With the sheer volume and rate of snowfall expected, it’s unlikely that even main roads will be clear until after the storm subsides on Saturday.”

Bevin said that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has operators and contracted crews on standby to work “around the clock” to ensure roads become passible in the event of a major storm.

The Kentucky National Guard has also been placed on high alert by the administration to provide assistance.

“Safety is our first priority; so it is very important to restrict travel to a minimum,” Bevin said. “I strongly encourage everyone, except in the case of emergency, to stay off the roads and prepare for any inconvenience during this major snow event.

“Please stay tuned to the latest weather forecasts and avoid all non-essential travel,” Bevin continued. “Your cooperation will give snow-clearing operations the best chance for success in the hours ahead.”

Officials within Kentucky Emergency Management began tracking the approaching weather system with the National Weather Service earlier this week, and continue to evaluate the situation as the storm approaches.

Snow amounts have been forecast up to 18 plus inches east of Interstate 65 with six inches along the Ohio River corridor, to up to 14 inches in the central Bluegrass Region, according to a press release.

Ice will be a concern in the southern regions of central Kentucky, which may cause power outages.

“The forecasted weather beginning on Thursday evening has the potential to impact every county in the Commonwealth.” Michael Dossett, Director of Kentucky Emergency Management, warned in a statement. “From all indications, this event will include rain, sleet, icing, heavy snowfall and gusting winds.

“We are urging citizens to limit or curtail their travel on interstates and local roadways from Thursday evening through Saturday morning in order to allow our state and local emergency crews to perform their duties in a timely fashion.”

The Kentucky state House of Representatives and state Senate have already called off session for Friday ahead of the expected storm. Bevin has also shuttered state offices for the expected winter weather, and the Legislative Research Commission will be closed Friday.


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