Transportation officials prep for severe weather in Eastern Kentucky

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 5:55 PM EST
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WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday

(WYMT) - With winter weather on the way Sunday, road crews and transportation officials are getting ready for whatever mother nature may bring.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) officials said they are preparing for the worst.

Spokesperson for Department of Highways District 10, H.B. Elkins, said they have been in recovery mode.

“Which means that we’ve been calibrating our equipment and inspecting it, making any necessary repairs,” he said. “Making sure that we have enough salt to get us through the event.”

For many local fire departments in Eastern Kentucky, including Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department in Whitley County, it is all hands-on deck.

“We are going to have three firefighters here at all times, 24 hours a day, for the next four days,” Fire Chief Kevin B. Gibbs said. “Normally we don’t do that but in extreme emergencies we tend to have people on staff.”

KYTC officials said they are worried the most about the potential for ice.

“We may have to do more salting and less scraping if it’s a layer of ice,” Elkins said. “To give the salt a chance to melt before we try to scrape anything off.”

Gibbs said if you do find yourself on the roads, be cautious for black ice.

“You always want to turn into the spin. Do not apply your brakes, just deaccelerate as much as possible,” he said. “Usually, your vehicle will sustain itself, it’ll come back.”

Safety leaders said during these times of severe weather, they will always push the golden rule.

“Best advice is just to stay at home,” Gibbs said. “If at all possible, don’t get out unless you absolutely have to.”

Elkins said they plan to have crews ready in each of their ten counties around 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

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