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Ice Storm 2022: What to know about this week's winter storm and how to plan ahead

Winter Weather storm Oklahoma
Posted at 2:17 PM, Feb 02, 2022

(LEX 18) — The Bluegrass is set to be hit with another winter storm, but this time, ice is a major concern.

An ice storm warning is in effect for much of central Kentucky from Thursday morning to Friday morning. A winter storm warning is also in effect for eastern counties.

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Roads could be icy and hazardous and power outages are possible starting Thursday afternoon and continuing through the evening into early Friday morning.

Expect potential ice accumulation of 0.25" to 0.5" with isolated higher amounts pushing 0.75" plus sleet and snow mixed in.

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A flood watch is also in effect for southern counties through Friday morning, and 1" to 3" of rain could lead to localized flooding.

What should I have in my car?

If you have to get out during a winter storm, the National Weather Service recommends you have a full tank of gas in your car, a snow shovel and brush, water and snacks, blankets and warm clothes, jumper cables, a first aid kit, a phone charger, sand or kitty litter and a flashlight.

AAA offers the following driving tips for those who must be on the roads:

  • Slow down: Accelerate, turn and brake gradually. Adjust your speed to the road conditions and leave yourself ample room to stop. Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Do not tailgate: Normal following distances of three to four seconds on dry pavement should be extended to a minimum of eight to ten seconds when driving on slippery surfaces. The extra time will provide additional braking room should a sudden stop become necessary.
  • Watch the traffic ahead: Slow down immediately at the sight of brake lights, fishtailing cars, sideways skids or emergency flashers ahead.
  • Never use cruise control on slippery roads: Patches of ice can cause unexpected wheel spin and use of cruise control can slow driver response.
  • Avoid unnecessarily changing lanes: This increases the chances of hitting a patch of ice between lanes that could cause loss of vehicle control.
  • Use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses: Black ice typically forms first in shaded areas of the roadway and on bridges and overpasses that freeze first and melt last. Although the road leading up to a bridge may be fine, the bridge itself could be a sheet of ice.
  • Move over: Move over one lane for law enforcement and emergency roadside personnel assisting motorists. It is the law. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
  • Carry a winter weather kit in your car: Contents should include a fully charged cellphone (and car charger); ice scraper; deicer; blanket; warm winter coat, gloves, and hat; flashlight with extra batteries; jumper cables or jump pack; basic toolkit; a bag of kitty litter/salt/sand; reflective triangles/flares/LED beacons; blanket; first aid kit; shovel; snacks/drinking water for passengers and any pets; and cloth/paper towels. AAA Emergency Road Kits are available at AAA retail locations (while supplies last) and at aaa.com.

What should I have in my house?

You should have the following items in your house to prepare ahead of a winter storm: water and snacks (non-perishable food items), a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, a portable phone charger, extra medicine, extra baby supplies (if applicable), extra pet supplies (if applicable), ice melt, salt, and shovels.

What if the power goes out where I live?

Experts recommend you turn off all appliances to avoid a power surge when the power comes back on. You should also keep one lamp switched on and keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Open blinds during the day and cover the windows with drapes at night. Gather in a central location with an alternate heat source, like a fireplace. Finally, be patient as crews work quickly to restore power where you live.

Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company offer the following tips:

  • Keep warm air in and cold air out: Ensure heating systems are operating efficiently. Seal leaks and gaps around the home with caulk, spray foam or weather-stripping. Make sure warm-air registers are not blocked by drapes or furniture.
  • Build an emergency kit: Keep an emergency kit on hand that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlights for everyone in the family, fresh batteries for any devices, a first-aid kit, and over-the-counter and prescription medications.
  • Avoid and report fallen power lines: Strong wind, snow, and ice accumulation on tree branches can sometimes cause them to break and fall into power lines. Consider all fallen lines dangerous. Stay away and contact the utilities to report a downed wire. LG&E customers should call 502-589-1444; KU customers should call 1-800-981-0600.
  • Stay informed: Download the LG&E and KU mobile app before inclement weather strikes. Customers can use the utilities’ mobile app, available from the Apple and Google stores, to access and keep track of near real-time outage information on the utilities’ online outage map. Customers can also use the app to report their outages and more.

LG&E and KU customers can also sign up for outage texting to report an outage to 4LGEKU (454358) and to request status updates from their mobile devices.

What are some non-perishable food items I should have in my house?

Non-perishable food includes any items that do not require heat to consume. They include canned fruits/vegetables/meat, ready-to-eat soups, granola/protein bars, beef jerky, cereal, crackers, and bottled water, juice boxes, and sports drinks.

If you want to send reports of measuring ice, the National Weather Service has the following tips: