Salt stocked; plows prepped; crews on call
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2020) – As the season’s first winter storm moves into the state, Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 snowfighters are gearing up for action with salt stockpiled and snow plows prepped.
“Snow removal is a top priority of the Transportation Cabinet during winter weather season,” said Steve Gunnell, chief district engineer. “And our highway crews are always prepared to keep motorists moving on Kentucky roadways.”
As of 11 a.m. today, Monday, Nov. 30, crews in Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan counties are on call – standing by for salt truck and snow plow duty when weather conditions call for it. The National Weather Service forecasts dropping temperatures and snowfall accumulations late today and overnight. Currently, air temperatures average about 34 degrees and pavement temperatures are about 40 degrees, with scattered rain and flurries.
The highway district, which maintains more than 2,000 miles of state roads in northeast Kentucky, has about 175 highway technicians who clear highways using 75 snow plows and tens of thousands of tons of salt.
When snowstorms hit, crews in affected counties are assigned 12-hour shifts to plow and treat state roadways on a priority basis – part of the Transportation Cabinet’s mission to keep traffic moving in a safe manner with an emphasis on maintaining mobility along critical corridors.
Priority A routes include critical state routes and those most heavily traveled such as interstates and main roads between counties or to hospitals, which receive the highest priority for snow-clearing efforts. Priority B and C routes include other important but lesser-traveled state routes.
The Cabinet’s snow and ice information website, SnowKY.ky.gov, provides the public with maps of those priority routes, as well as helpful winter driving tips, fact sheets and videos on the snow removal process.
In addition, the public can monitor winter operations in real time on the state’s interactive traffic system – GoKY.ky.gov – to find out what’s happening on state routes in their local counties.
Statewide, nearly 2,000 men and women serve on the frontlines and behind the scenes of the Cabinet’s snow and ice removal efforts. The Cabinet is equipped with several hundred thousand tons of salt, as well as adequate supplies of brine and calcium chloride, and more than 1,000 deployable trucks and plows among the 125 snow and ice maintenance locations. More than 400 more contracted trucks are available to assist in snow and ice operations.
The Transportation Cabinet encourages motorists to prepare for winter and remain safe by following these tips:
– Pay attention to weather advisories. Weather will impact travel on some level, so prepare for a slower commute.
– Travel only as necessary during major snow events. It’s better to be stuck at home than to be stuck on the road.
– Maintain a safe braking distance from other vehicles, as well as snowplows and other heavy highway equipment.
– Do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.
– Winterize vehicles.
– Stock vehicles with blankets, flash light and an emergency supply kit.
– Know before you go. Visit goky.ky.gov and download the free Waze app to check traffic conditions before you travel.
– Eliminate distractions (e.g. using phone and eating) while driving.
– Wear your seatbelt. It’s not only state law, but also your best defense in case of a crash.
– Cooperate with the expectations of the Quick Clearance law, which requires drivers to move vehicles to the shoulder in the event of a non-injury crash.
For more information, please visit http://SnowKY.ky.gov. Updated information during winter storms is also available by following Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 on social media at http://Facebook.com/KYTCDistrict9 or https://twitter.com/KYTCDistrict9.