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Wintry Roads under control in Breathitt County

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 2:50 PM EST
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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - People in Eastern Kentucky saw significant snow this past weekend, and crews were out working to make sure roads were clear as the work week started.

Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said it was a calmer day than expected.

Department of Highways District 10 Spokesperson, H.B. Elkins, said everyone in Breathitt County was lucky during the snowstorm.

“They did not have as much snow in Breathitt and some of our other counties kind of to the south and the east,” he said. “Breathitt, Owsley, and Perry got off a little better this time than the counties to the west.”

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson, said this type of severe weather is not uncommon.

“It just so happen that the system set up where we had two different low pressure systems that moved just to our south,” Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jane Marie Wix said. “That’s what gave us the snow. We could have something very similar happen in the summertime where we would end up with two rain events.”

Elkins said the roads in Breathitt County are mostly cleared.

He added crew members have been picking up the slack.

“There will still be some slick spots, roads that crews haven’t gotten yet that they’ll be getting to later,” Elkins said. “They’ll be sick in some spots until we can get the snowplow to pass.”

Elkins said they think the worst has passed but are on standby for whatever else may come.

He added they did see some action early on.

“We did have a few fallen trees in Breathitt County. Again, not nearly as many as we did in some of the other counties to the north and the west of Breathitt,” Elkins said. “Didn’t have as much snow and the snow was a heavy wet snow.”

Elkins said they hope the weather stays calm, as crews continue their salting process.

“It loses its effectiveness below about 15 to 20 degrees,” he said. “So, if it’ll stay in the 20’s today, the salt will have a chance to work.”

Wix said this type of weather will not become the norm.

“In the summertime, you can have storms on one weekend and storms on another weekend,” she said. “That just happened to be how the systems setup and how they played out. Is that something that’s going to continue happening every winter, no, definitely not.”

Those working with the NWS, said they are confident in that opinion.

“It’s a complex time of year,” Wix said. “It’s a hard time for us to forecast because there is so many complexities. It’s just that it’s going to be changing, the weather systems are always changing.”

Elkins said they are asking everyone to stay home just in case things pick up.

“There will be some places that drivers will encounter slick spots,” he said. “Especially, on some of our lesser traveled routes. The main routes we expect to be in fairly decent shape.”

Elkins says his team appreciates everyone’s patience during this difficult time.

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