Wintry Weather Hits Eastern Kentucky

By: WYMT Team Coverage
By: WYMT Team Coverage

Classes were cancelled, grocery stores were packed and fender benders backed up streets as the first snow of December hit the region. If nothing else, it was certainly beautiful to see the mountains powdered with snow Thursday afternoon.

Most of the region got less than an inch of accumulation. But even in the smallest of snows, a lot comes with the white stuff.

Many school districts cancelled classes early Thursday and you can only imagine the surprise and excitement to the students.

It wasn't a typical school day but students loved it, even if they had to freeze to have fun.

"I'm going to go home and play video games. We're going to make a snow man," said Ryan Barnes.

With less than an inch of snow falling across most of East Kentucky, it would take a while to build 'Ole Frosty, but there's just enough to dash the mountains with beauty.

"I love it. Go home drink some hot chocolate, sit in front of the fireplace," said James Taylor Gwyn.

"I would have liked to have it happen early this morning before school started, but luckily I was home and able to come get her," said Randall Sanders.

While home is the destination, most are making one extra stop.

"Probably go shopping," Sanders said.

Not knowing what the next day may bring, some shoppers made sure to get the basics.

So far only a few schools have cancelled for snow Friday, but with temperatures dropping into the low teens tonight, we could see some frozen roads in the morning and possibly more closings.

School buses weren't the only ones on the roads Thursday. Road crews have been out for a few days trying to prevent any serious problems.

Road crews say they beat the snow to the punch.

"We're ready for anything," said Joe Stanley, Maintenance Engineer with Highway Department District 12.

Days before the first snowflake fell, crews were out putting salt brine on the roads.

"It's better to be safe than sorry. We try to always be better prepared for these storms," Stanley said.

Once the snow started falling, they started watching.

"Been monitoring the snow throughout the state and watching the progression through the state," Stanley said.

Maintenance Engineer Joe Stanley hasn't seen much snow accumulation on his radar. He says road temperatures are warm enough to melt the flakes, but snow plow operators aren't hesitating.

"Getting everything ready, making sure that everything is pretty well right in case we do have to work this evening," said Snow Plow Operator Derek Bentley. We have been putting snow plows and spreaders on and filling up the trucks, making sure everything works."

Maintenance engineers say all the trucks are ready, ready to clear any roads.

Managers say right now they've only had a few slick spots in Pike and Letcher Counties. Crews are salting those roads again.

"There's gonna be some very low temperatures, so we're gonna need all the help we can get to keep the bond from forming to the highway," Stanley said.

Road crews believe their early preparation has helped prevent many problems, but say they're still ready in case more snow falls.

Highway officials say they have road crew teams on hand 24 hours a day in case there are any problems on the roadways.

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