WKYT team coverage of road conditions after heavy snowfall
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The WKYT team is once again spread out across the region Friday to bring you the latest road conditions after Thursday’s winter storm brought the first widespread accumulating snow of the season.
The snow is still causing headaches Friday for drivers in Lexington.
I-75 southbound has been a trouble spot all day long. Road crews told us they’re not really seeing any crashes in the area heading towards the Clay’s Ferry Bridge, but the road conditions are causing backups.
We’re told that the hill after you get past the bridge is extremely slick and that’s causing drivers to go very very slow. Then you also have to take into account there was a lot of traffic waiting to go south overnight.
Our reporter saw around 100 trucks parked on the side of the road between the Man O’War exit and the Clay’s Ferry Bridge Friday morning. Just waiting for the sun to come up and the road conditions to improve before they continued their journey.
We spoke with one woman who was driving home to Michigan. She told us that roads are still treacherous, and she’s seen plenty of cars who just couldn’t handle the slick spots.
“There are just semis, some of them are jackknifed and flipped right over. A bunch of cars just parked on the side of the road. Semis everywhere,” said Pamela Springer-Johnson, of Grand Haven, Michigan. “You’ve got the inexperienced drivers or the cars with just rear-wheel drive, you know, thinking they can go a little faster and then you find them in a ditch up the way.”
State officials have been saying if you don’t have to go out, you shouldn’t. Crews need time to keep working on these roads, but it’s going to be tough. Right now, it’s so cold that even if more salt gets laid down, it probably won’t have a big impact.
In the city, we’re seeing drivers on major roads like Man O’ War but not very many on smaller streets especially in neighborhoods where the pavement is still covered with snow.
City officials tell us crews are still working in 12 hours shifts to make the roads passable.
They saw crews are currently treating rank two roads according to the city’s snow plan. That’s roads that provide access to large commercial areas with offices and stores. What’s left are rank 3 roads found in residential areas and rank 4 roads found in subdivisions.
We spoke to Greg Lubeck, who lives in a subdivision, said it took him two hours to get home Thursday night. It normally takes him 30 minutes. He said he saw vehicles having trouble navigating a hill leading onto his street.
He’s hasn’t been out since then. Friday morning, he was busy clearing his sidewalk.
“Fortunately, we got two vehicles that are pretty good in snow. They’ve got all-wheel drive. So, unless it gets real icy, yeah, you just saw them go out, so, they’re not having any trouble. They’re probably going a little faster than I would, but that’s my opinion,” Lubeck said.
City officials are urging people to stay home if possible. If you must drive, they say slow down, increase your braking distance, and give yourself more time to get to your destination.
UPDATE: At 12:00 p.m., Friday, the Lexington Police Department resumed responding to non-injury collisions. Friday afternoon, Lexington Police temporarily suspended non-injury collision reporting so officers could focus on responding to high-priority calls.
If you were involved in a collision that occurred in Lexington prior to 12:00, go to www.kentuckystatepolice.org/civilian-collision-reports to report your collision. Additional officers are working around the city Friday to help people. Police ask that if you do not have to travel, please stay at home as roadways are still snow-covered.
Driving in southern Kentucky remains treacherous.
Interstate 75 was closed very early Friday morning at the 15-mile marker because of a semi crash and then two other semis crashed, there was also a wreck at the 25 at Corbin, leaving the southbound lanes closed for at least ten miles.
At this point, however, we have learned the interstate has re-opened at Exit 25 South.
Blacktop was finally visible on parts of the southbound lanes of I-75 in Laurel County, but elsewhere in London roads are a mess.
“We probably had as many 50 people in the ditch, when this snow was falling. Because people were trying to get home, but they couldn’t get home, said Dep. Gilbert Acciardo, Laurel County Sheriff’s Office. “It was coming down so fast.”
Police were still urging people to stay home Friday, but many said they had work or important appointments to make.
Interstate 75 was also closed multiple times at multiple locations from Rockcastle to Whitley counties. We are told the northbound lanes in Rockcastle are troublesome with issues at the 59-mile marker and between the 67 and 68.
Police say only a few of the crashes they have worked Friday involved injuries.
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.
Across Clark County, roads are still snow-covered, but the main roads have had some work done.
Near I-64, traffic continues to move slowly and semi-trucks continue to sit on the sides.
Bill Eppling came to Winchester for a work meeting yesterday. After trying to venture out, he knew there was no way he could make it home to West Virginia on these roads.
“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 Eppling.
Unfortunately, until the temperatures get above freezing not much melting will occur. Fortunately, the crews in Clark County have been hard at work plowing the main roads to make sure things can get back to normal, but there is still a long way to go.
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