Crews prepare for slick roads with overnight snow expected

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MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) - The roads are clear but the weather will be changing and a "four-letter word" many don't like will be coming this way, welcome or not.

"Here we go," chuckled Allen Blair, with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, when asked about the coming snow fall.

Much of Kentucky will be watching the skies for the white stuff, but in Northeastern Kentucky they could see the most in this storm, and WKYT's Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey said it may add up to an inch in some parts.

That presents an early challenge for Blair and the road crews in the area.

"This early in the season, it's really hard to tell. It's really hard to tell exactly what's going to happen with the snow fall, it's hard to tell what the temperatures are going to do. Things change hour-by-hour," explained Blair.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet breaks down the state into districts, Blair is out of District 9 which covers Rowan, Bath, Fleming and the surrounding counties. With the expected snow fall for their area, the crews went to work on their preparations.

"We always prepare for the worst and if we're not needed or if our salt isn't needed, than that's good. But we can't not prepare for the worst because these roads are important to people," said Blair.

In this case, being prepared meant coming in on a holiday to get the trucks in place, only to return around 4 a.m. on Tuesday to start running their routes and treating any slick spots along roads and bridges.

"We'll be up at 4 a.m., when everyone is hopefully still in bed, and getting ready to keep the roads clear so they can get to work, get to school, or get to where they need to go," stated Blair, "That's our mission in the wintertime and that's what we're going to do."

However, it's not as if these crews were caught off guard by this weather. Blair said the road crews start their winter weather preparations in October. He said that includes getting their trucks in order, and stocking up on salt. For District 9, that number averages out to roughly 25,000 tons.

To stay on top of the conditions when bad weather hits, the Transportation Cabinet will put their crews into 12-hour shifts so someone will always on hand to treat the roads. And with roughly 2,000 highway miles in District 9, they expect to be busy.

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