By Amber Hobaugh and Drew Bergman
On Thursday and Friday of last week, rain, sleet, and ice fell across southcentral Kentucky prompting schools that had been in session to go online. By Saturday many roads were back to normal, but it was a short break.
On the evening of Valentine’s Day this Sunday a wintry mix came through, giving the area an icy sheen and by Monday ice fell like rain before a light snowfall late Monday night into Tuesday morning.
While many of Adair’s main roads are (as of this writing) driveable, most of the county’s other highways and roads are still iced, and there is more snow expected this evening.
Governor Beshear, the Kentucky State Police, and many other state and local agencies encouraged people to stay off the roadways as much as possible.
“We’ve been through too much,” Governor Beshear said. “We’ve sacrificed too much. We have the capability to work remotely more than ever before, so take care of one another. Check on your neighbors, especially if you lose power, and you have seniors or if you have those who are tougher to reach or might have tougher needs. Be a good neighbor. I know you’ve done it for the last 11 months. Let’s do it for the next week, and we will take care of each other.”
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray added, “What we’re facing is three winter storms in eight days. This next round of winter weather will bring varying conditions across the state, but what remains constant is our crew’s commitment to maintaining mobility along critical routes and our plea to the public to avoid unnecessary travel.”
Road crews are out, but with the wave upon wave of winter weather, they continue to fight an uphill battle to keep even the busiest and most essential roadways (major highways and those leading to hospitals) safe.
“Road conditions vary county to county this morning. While main priority A routes such as I-75 and the Cumberland Parkway have clearer travel lanes, many A routes remain partly covered in areas. Priority B and C routes remain mostly to completely covered across the district,” said Amber Hale of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Highway District 8 office.
“Because low temperatures make salt treatments ineffective crews remained focused overnight on plowing operations primarily on priority A routes. As main routes are cleared crews will begin to address B and C routes. Crews were able to make some progress yesterday reaching pavement in some areas, however refreezing overnight has likely created slick spots along those routes.
“The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning that goes in effect for the entire District 8 region this evening. Additional snow and wintry precipitation is expected to impact the area later [Wednesday] through Friday morning.”
Adair County Emergency Management director Mike Keltner released a video Tuesday afternoon urging Adair County residents to stay off roads for the foreseeable future unless it is absolutely necessary for you to be out. “There’s a pretty solid layer of ice on the roads and temperatures are expected to stay around freezing or below for the rest of the week with wind chills getting into the single digits. The roadways are not going to be worth getting out on and risking a life,” Keltner said.
He went on to say that the Annex building basement would be open as a “Warming Center” should anyone need to use it.
Many businesses around the county have either closed or are operating on reduced hours to ensure their employees safety.
Fortunately for the people of Adair County, most of the worst weather outcomes in the state have been to the east and southeast of the county.