FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky emergency leaders think we won't get as much ice as they initially thought, but predictions are still around a quarter of an inch to half an inch of ice.
Governor Andy Beshear says that amount of icing is more than enough to cause problems.
The governor declared a state of emergency yesterday.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) February 3, 2022
This is the fourth one in two months.
The governor says this is unprecedented. He admits it’s draining on crews who are working these emergencies.@LEX18News pic.twitter.com/SRPvhnC62S
The governor says make no mistake, there will be issues caused by this winter storm. The ice is expected to cause two specific problems. Roads, even major ones like the interstates, are going to be dangerous.
I asked the governor: is the state planning on closing any interstates?— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) February 3, 2022
He says they don’t have plans like that right now. But he says the interstates - in particular I64 - will get bad. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/T1PsIRoMYF
And then there's power because Kentucky has a lot of above-ground power poles, ice is going to build up on them.
So the governor says that means outages are likely. Many remember the power outages caused by ice in 2009. The good news is the state does not think things will get that bad this time. But, that all depends on what happens over the next several hours.
"Every time we think we know exactly how many people will lose power, we're taught that mother nature has its own mind," said Gov. Beshear.
Utility crews are, however, ready to respond. They're already doing it. Road crews are also out there, but remember, it's going to take time to clear the roads. 1,500 plows and heavy pieces of equipment are out there, but they need a while to effectively clear ice.
Transportation Secretary Jim Gray says hundreds of pieces of equipment are on the roads. Hundreds of employees will be working.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) February 3, 2022
Says salt is being put down where conditions allow it. But because of the rain, salting is difficult.
So, he says stay off the roads.@LEX18News pic.twitter.com/q3KD2pTcEC
"Please give us a day to interact with the weather conditions," said Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett. "It's still going to be rough on Friday, but give us a day for the Transportation cabinet to do the fine work that they do across the state."
Emergency Management director Michael Dossett says “any icing is bad.”— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) February 3, 2022
He makes it clear the roads will still be bad on Friday. Asks people to give crews a day to work.@LEX18News pic.twitter.com/GUe3EzKw06
Last month, a lot of people found themselves stuck on the interstates when that heavy snow came down. Kentucky is hoping to avoid a repeat of that. However, as of right now, the governor says there are no plans to shut down the interstates.