WKYT team coverage of snow and road conditions
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A winter storm moved into Kentucky, bringing with it widespread snow to the region. The storm will brought the first widespread accumulating event of the season!
The WKYT team spread out around the region to bring you the latest on the snow and road conditions.
Whether you were on I-64 or I-75, it was the same story, as hundreds of drivers spent hours stuck in traffic because of crashes. There was massive pile up of at least 50 cars in Mt. Sterling and several incidents around the Madison-Fayette County lines.
Thursday night, crews have their work cut out for them to clear the roads ahead of Friday.
Many people spent hours stuck on the interstate.
“From the looks of the photos, it’s going to be a long, long while,” said Robert Wright, who was stuck on I-64.
“Time is its own thing when you’re stuck on a snowy road,” said Missy Neward, who was stuck on I-64.
Hundreds of drivers spent Thursday waiting for crews to clean up countless crashes around Mt. Sterling, Winchester, Lexington, and down to Mount Vernon.
All of the people out in Winchester have had the same word to describe the roads and snowstorm that continues to cause havoc across the state and that is a nightmare.
“I was supposed to be here for one night, but on the way down it started blowing snow across the roads and then it was just horrible. You couldn’t see anything,” said Bill Eppling, who was on his way home to West Virginia.
“Some of the slowest I’ve seen on the interstate. Traffic was about 20 miles an hour for the last hour,” said Ross Buskey, who was stuck on I-75.
Tractor trailers, passenger cars, all a victim to fast falling snow. Drivers took advantage of the first exit they could get to.
“I have a little navigation on my car and I saw the exit and thought, thank goodness. I have to get to that exit. At the moment I was stopped,” said Logan Robbins, who is trying to get to Knoxville from Michigan. It’s an eight hour drive that’s taking much longer.
“It’s frustrating. But at the end of the day I’m safe and I’m not in a rush or anything,” Robbins said.
But some drivers are now even more anxious.
“We were already a little nervous because mom has some health issues and we were trying to take care of that. So we were already on edge before we even got in the vehicle to try to beat the storm. That was the plan,” Neward said.
Now, crews are working to clear the roads ahead of Friday. Drivers and officials are urging people to stay inside.
Mayor Linda Gorton and other Lexington officials held a news conference Thursday afternoon to address the snow situation:
The mayor said city offices were closed at noon for employees not dealing with the snow. Waste Management, Sanitary Sewer, Environmental Services, Code Enforcement, Sewer Treatment, and Parks employees are assisting with snow removal.
Mayor Gorton says the city’s salt barns are full. Road crews started pre-treating the roads with salt brine on Tuesday. They’re now busy shuffling away snow, but roads are quickly piling back up.
“We want people to stay off the roads if you can,” Gorton said. “Help your neighbors, especially the elderly, and protect yourselves and others from the bitter cold which we understand is coming tonight.”
The Lexington Police Department is temporarily suspending reporting non-injury collisions in Fayette County. Should you be involved in a non-injury collision, exchange the following information with the other vehicles:
- Insurance information
- Vehicle information, including license plate number & state, year, make and model
- License information for both drivers
Drivers should also try to collect the following information pertaining to the collision:
- The location and time of the collision.
- Photos of any damage. (Only take photos if you can do so safely)
- Citizens have 10 days to report the collision.
- Call your insurance company to let them know about the collision.
- Do not call the other driver’s insurance company.
Mayor Gorton asked for patience with trash pickup because it could be delayed.
The office of Homelessness Prevention & Intervention says LexTran is providing free rides to those who need shelter. The Salvation Army is also housing families needing shelter.
Arbor Youth Services is providing shelter for youth.
While roads are still covered in a layer of snow and ice in Lexington, the good news is that most traffic has decreased significantly, but even through this winter storm, one family is making sure to help others in need.
“I thought I was going to stay home, but my son was like, ‘mom there’s like 30 orders out and these people need their stuff,’” Stephanie Nance said.
No matter the weather or temperatures, Stephanie Nance and her son make sure to help those in need, and they say it’s especially important this time of year when snow can keep many stuck at home
“There are people that really cannot get out that are wheelchair bound, that have babies, brand new babies at home and just need the basics,” Nance said.
But even through this winter storm, Nance says she knew it had to be done and she even has a personal connection with just how helpful acts of kindness like this can be.
“I work at UK and I work with people with disabilities so this is kind of another way I give back,” Nance said.
Even though this winter storm may have slowed them down, Nance and her son say they’ll continue doing this work through any weather as long as the help is needed.
In southern Kentucky, it was heavy, thick snow falling much of Thursday afternoon. The evening brought less of it but the problems didn’t go away.
We talked with one man trying to get home from Somerset.
“I don’t know. The people across the road, they ended up in ditch. That was a big fiasco,” Phillip Greer said.
All over Laurel County blacktop roads are white skating rinks. It’s been that way all day, starting early with a lot of work for police.
“The roads in Rockcastle and Laurel County are absolutely horrible. As soon as we get a wreck cleared up another one happens. If you get behind one you might be there for hours,” trooper Scottie Pennington said.
Police said some of the crashes they worked did involve injuries.
Now that the snow is ending, all of this will no doubt stick around for awhile because of the very cold temperatures.
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