‘Please, be careful’: KY governor asks people to limit travel during winter storm
good morning. I hope everyone is staying warm and also staying safe on this snowy Monday morning. I wanted to update you this morning on the conditions and on our preparations. As we face the second straight week of harsh winter weather with ice, snow and freezing temperatures. I’m joining you today with transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray, an emergency management director, Michael Doucet, to give you an update on all the information we have on the weather that we will and or we may see during the course of this week. We’re expecting to storms to hit the Commonwealth this week. The first is here and the roads are already dangerous in places. So if you have to be out this morning, I hope you were taking extra time. I hope that you have reduced your speed and I hope that you are being very, very careful. We already have some accidents on our roadways. It is slick and it is dangerous. So again, make sure that you give yourself extra time. Even if you’re a little bit late, I’d rather you get there intact and healthy than the alternative. These storms will affect most of the Commonwealth with potentially dangerous conditions much of this week. The first began overnight, and these systems are expected to continue through Thursday night. I hope everyone has made preparations whether that is to work virtually and or the need to potentially heat your home if you lose power for at least the next two days. Uh, today and tomorrow we’re advising, you know, limit travel as much as possible. This will help you avoid dangerous conditions, but it also helps our road crews. Fewer cars that are out there, the faster we can work and the better condition we can get the roads in. If you have to drive. Please, please be careful and take your time. The National Guard has been alerted and our soldiers air standing by with equipment ready to assist if necessary. In fact, we just had to stand up our first unit in Ashland, which is gonna be going door to door to check on those that are more remote and have lost power and will be transporting people to warming stations if necessary. The heaviest snow will likely fall today during the afternoon rush hour, and some of the Commonwealth could see six toe eight inches of snow. Much of central Kentucky could see significant snow accumulations, with the heaviest snowfall beginning this afternoon, Snow could fall Atmore than one inch per hour. Along with snow, there’s a potential for significant ice accumulations of up to a half an inch. We’re also monitoring another system beginning on Wednesday night and continuing into Thursday night. That could bring additional winter weather across Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation, Cabinet, cruise. They’re concentrating on clearing and maintaining our interstates, parkways and highly traveled routes. I appreciate our transportation crews tireless work over the last two weeks, preparing and clearing our roadways. Just last week, I thought they did an incredible job, had our roads in great shape before any of our initial predictions. And I know they’re out there working justice hard. Remember the fewer cars that are on the road right now, the better and easier it is for them to do their job, as well as for E. M s or fire or police that have to respond to emergencies. Even after the last storm. They’ve been working nonstop, continuing to remove trees, clear roadways and replenish salt inventories so that we were ready for this week. There’s a potential for more down trees, which will create more opportunities for both travel hazards and power losses this week. If you experience a downed power line or power outage, please call your local utility company. If you need to use alternative sources of heat, please be aware of the dangers that some of those sources can emit the carbon monoxide poisoning that it seems that we lose some of our citizens to every major storm. Never use a gas stove top or oven to heat your home and generators, camp, stove or charcoal grills. They need to be at least 20 ft away from your windows or from your house Again. I can’t stress the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is absolutely avoidable. Those air casualties we don’t want to see. We did not make it through almost a year of a pandemic toe. Lose people to a snow or an ice storm. You have more ability to work remotely. We have more ways to connect to one another and get done. The things we need to get done and we’re looking at coming out of this pandemic by the summer. Please don’t let the next couple days or this week be what injures you or or ultimately causes the loss of a loved one. The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management has activated the State Emergency Operation Center that happened last Wednesday, and it’s been active ever since. They monitor the earlier store storm systems, and they coordinate critical emergency support function partners and transportation, law enforcement, power and utilities. The Emergency Operation Center is currently at level four, but will transition to Level three, which is a higher level at noon today. As we anticipate MAWR severe weather, you can find snow and ice re sources, including traffic information, maps and other updates and news at snow k y dot k y dot gov Also, um, today we’re announcing that the Frankfurt Kroeger vaccination site will be closed tomorrow. Simply gonna be too much snow. We won’t have our roads in the conditions we need to make that safe for those coming to vaccinate others. Everybody who has an appointment scheduled for tomorrow at the Frankfurt Kroger vaccination site will be moved to next Tuesday. One week, same time, same place we will get you through. I know we don’t wanna have to wait another week, but they’re they’re increasing capacity. We’re gonna make sure that you get vaccinated. Thea. Other Kroger sites aren’t open tomorrow. That’s the only one we’re having to move for. Now. We’re gonna watch the weather system to make a call on Wednesday, hoping that we can keep all of our other facilities open, whether it’s Frankfurt on Wednesday or the Horse Park, Northern Kentucky and Bowling Green on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We know how critical those vaccines are. And as long as there’s a way to navigate the roadways fairly safely, we will do everything we can to keep those open. But remember those that come in to provide those vaccinations we need for the next months and their health and their safety is critical in deploying these vaccines quickly, safely and efficiently. I now want to turn it over to emergency management Director uh, Michael Doucet. He’ll provide an update and then we’ll turn it over from there to transportation. Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. Yeah. Thank you, governor. And good morning. So we’ve experienced an extremely unusual dynamic for severe weather here in the state, uh, that of three severe weather events in close proximity. If you looked at the national picture. This is a massive storm system and extends from New Mexico all the way up through Canada. Event one occurred last week, beginning with a heavy snow in our northern Kentucky counties on Tuesdays. Wave one. That was followed by several days of sleet, snow, freezing rain and ice accumulation in Wave two on Wednesday and Wave three on Thursday. Event to began last night on Sunday with the first wave when will continue today, with the second way beginning early afternoon, right before rush hour over most of the central and southern counties, um, ending in the early morning hours of Tuesday. This storm will impact most of our counties and should be considered a very dangerous system. Again. You can expect sleep freezing rain, ice, very heavy snowfall with accumulation rates of 1 to 2 inches for our. That’s far an excess of what we can manage on interstate, so it’s going to take everyone’s cooperation. Snow accumulation ranges from 6 to 8 inches in many areas. Localized events, Um, maybe higher due to banding if a sleet zone extends farther east. Uh, Lexington area can, uh, experience 4 to 6 inches, which is an increased amount. If you bring up the If you look at the backup one, please. If you concede on the slide, the banding starts all the way down in Paducah and goes up through our northern area, and that’s the largest band. And as it moves southwest, the system came up through the Tennessee border, heading toward the North Northeast direction. So we’ve seen some impacts overnight. The beginning of, um south central and Southeast, uh, mainly in the Cumberland area, have accumulated at least 1/10 of an inch of ice across the larger area, we’ve seen 1 to 3 inches of snow mixed with sleet and freezing rain. At present, severe weather is entering Paducah from the southwest and will be moving northeast again in anticipation of wave number two of this storm. As the governor indicated, The Stadio C has been elevated from a steady state level four, which is a monitoring of the storms, uh, to a level three at noon today, and we’ll have representatives from many of RSF cabinets there. Event number three of the three peat that we’re going to experience here in the Commonwealth that’ll begin Wednesday night through Thursday, with more sleet snow raising rain and the possibility of going across the entire region. We’ve just received a brief update from the weather service. We can expect basically more of the same. Uh, the accumulations will be smaller, possibly 3 to 6 inches. But again, icing in our south east regions again as a Z, the governor’s indicated we’ve received our first mission for the National Guard. They’ve been alerted across the Commonwealth understanding by with equipment and soldiers for assistance on a number of missions on the interstate Should, uh, we have snowfall that impacts motorists on. We experienced stranded motors conditions, assisting with cutting and toss chain saw crews for road clearing, uh, hum vee Humvee vehicles and cruise for emergency tasking and assisting relief efforts in a number of our counties that still have power outages. This won’t be a heavy concentration. Snowfall and blowing and high drifts are also possible. Our search and rescue teams across the Commonwealth have been alerted again for the same type missions in our local jurisdictions looking at interstates and parkways. So we have demonstrated the resilience of Kentucky ins. We navigated the most severe event last week, and with your continued awareness of surroundings and diligence and checking on our friends and neighbors. Let’s please double our efforts. Um, and special attention, uh, to our state and local emergency responders that will be assisting us the remainder of the day and into tomorrow with the dangerous storm conditions. Thank you. Back to your group. Thank you, Director Dossett. Thanks, Governor. Director Dawson, I like the way you just said that we’ve demonstrated the resilience of Kentucky INTs. Uh, what the governor said earlier about requesting everyone asking everyone to recognize that these air dangerous, dangerous conditions, highway conditions. And please, unless you need to be out and driving. Don’t do it. I’m gonna give a few details. Um, of where we are as it relates to transportation and the highways and some of the conditions that were experiencing across the state. We had what amounted to an intermission actually between the winter storms this weekend that enabled our highway crews to get a bit of rest and make some headway in clearing fallen limbs and trees, for example, and restock restocking our salt supplies. But it was actually, as the governor said, as director Dawson has said it was only a short break. What we’re facing is three winter storms in seven days, three winter storms in seven days. I’ve gotten hourly reports from all 12 of our highway district’s since last evening. Crews were out in a number of district’s almost all across the state yesterday afternoon and worked through the night pre treating roadways where conditions were permitting it. We’re now treating and plowing over. Most of the state in eastern and South eastern Kentucky are Jackson and High are Jackson and Pikeville district of the highway department. Freezing rain is the prevailing conditions, so we can’t stress enough how important it is to stay off the road if you don’t have to travel and to be extremely careful, If you do have to travel, here’s what we’re dealing with. Yesterday evening began with some freezing fog in southern and southeastern Kentucky. Roadway conditions deteriorated quickly. Freezing rain There were. There were multiple crashes along the I 75 corridor in Rock Castle and Laurel counties. No known injuries. This was cleared within a few hours are salt trucks were in the traffic from these crashes and some were able to travel along the shoulder to reach untreated areas of the interstate. But that just illustrates just how challenging the conditions have been. There was a crash that temporarily shut down I 64 westbound near Olive Hill in Carter County, and regrettably, there are reports of a fatality. Some down trees have been reported in eastern Kentucky, but had been cleared for the first time in memory. Officials in District 12. That’s Pike Bull, our chief district engineer, Mary Westfall. Holbrooke reports that they had to pull back their trucks from B and C routes, those with secondary routes. They had to pull them back last night because of ice covered roads. Even with our highly skilled drivers, trucks were running into guard rails and sliding into ditches. Snowfall in eastern in western Kentucky was more of a light powdery snow. There’ve been reports of blowing snow that can quickly recover quickly. Cover our roadways this morning during the brief break in the storm, our crews will continue to treat roadways that are yet to be treated from last night snow, and we’ll also be making necessary repairs to equipment. Not much has changed as director Doucet said, with the National Weather Service forecast ice accumulations of half an inch to three quarters of an inch are still expected in southern Kentucky. This will greatly impact significantly impact the I 75 quarter in Madison Rock Castle, Laurel and Whitley counties. Snowfall rates are expected to exceed one inch, and our governors already said that later today and into the evening, with rates even expected near two inches per hour at times. And at that rate, a roadway, of course, will be covered with snow again almost nearly as quickly as it has been plowed. This will exceed our capacity to keep roadways completely clear. And that’s important to remember that at this rate, the roads can be covered almost as quickly as their plowed. Our crews will concentrate on interstates and parkways. Our A routes other routes with higher traffic, with higher traffic roadways that provide services to emergency locations such as hospitals. These are our A routes. The first weather system moved through the state last week. Now a second system is working its way west to east, so this new system is going to be immediately followed by third system, so it’s going to be very challenging week for everyone. Our crews worked Sunday to get a jump on this new weather by pre treating many of the A routes. These are our high volume routes and include interstates and parkways. We have two major to primary concerns. Number one, a forecast of the heavier snow that will at times exceed our ability to keep the roads plowed, which I just mentioned. The National Weather Service is warning this morning that travel will become quote difficult to impossible. Let me say that again. National weather forecast is warning that travel will become difficult to impossible by this afternoon and into tonight. Number two heavy ice and snow builder Likely meaning mawr downed trees and power lines. Ice is actually a bigger challenge than plowing snow. Of course, two things to remember about ice and the power outages. Ice does not respect motor vehicles, regardless of the vehicle type. Regardless, four wheel drive included. You must slow down and exercise extreme caution when roadways are icy. Regret to say that a prime example out on I 75 which was blocked near the Laurel Rock Castle County line for about an hour and a half last night, do two vehicles losing control on ice and crashing. Then Early this morning, Kentucky State Police closed I 75 again for about 30 minutes so the roadway could be treated. Also, power outages don’t occur only toe homes and other buildings. They also occur with traffic signals. So when you encounter when you come upon a nonworking, a traffic signal that’s not working, it’s dark. It’s like a four way stop. Treat it like a four way stop. Each driver takes his or her turn. Unfortunately, forecasters have tell us that this new wave of winter weather is going to bring even mawr cases of downed trees and power lines because of the ice and snow builder. So our highway crews, which have been working under these difficult conditions, we’ll have more of the same. Our maintenance personnel in central office and in all 12 of our highway district’s have been meeting virtually every day yesterday, twice and regularly to share information and to coordinate. You should know the public should know we have good equipment. We have great people. We have some 2000 front line employees committed to this work today, more than 1000 1017 pieces of equipment supplemented by 400 contract plow operators. But we still, despite this, we need everyone’s help. Our top priority is to keep everyone safe. Our fellow Kentucky’s we asked you, thio, do your part and the main thing you could do. The governor said it. Director Dawson has said it. The main thing you can do is a citizen is to stay off the roadways. If you don’t have to be on them, give yourself extra time. If you have to be traveling, take it. Slow the patient and to repeat what I said earlier. Heavy snow will cover up the roadway almost a soon as it is plowed, but we are aiming to make sure priority routes are passable. We are aiming, We’re trying. We’re working on ensuring that our major routes are passable. Also, watch out for our snow fighting equipment, please, and other emergency vehicles. Friday afternoon, on behalf of the governor, I signed an official order temporarily suspending certain motor carrier restrictions for those involved in power restoration efforts and the delivery of critical goods and fuel within affected areas areas. Now you can keep up to date with conditions through our website snow, K, y dot K y dot gov and please. Remember, the Kentucky State Police reminds us, please. During these conditions, don’t call 911 For weather conditions. Please go to the website snow, k y dot k y dot gov. And on that site, you can find links to our social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, instagram. We use those platforms to pump out information. Thank you. And, Governor, turn it back over to you. Thank you, sir. All right, we’ll open it up. We’ve got just a few questions. We’ll start with Karen’s are from W K Y. Thank you, governor. And to the rest of the team, I have 21 for secretary Gray and one for you. Uh, Secretary Gray mentioned that the salt supply was replenished about how long do we anticipate that can hold out? And with so many states needing it, how quickly could we get Mawr? And for you? Is there concern of a guess the world will be a pile up of vaccination appointments? Potentially. Are we prepared for that? And if things do have to close this week, are we in danger of any doses expiring? Thank you so much. We believe that we not only have the capacity But this is gonna be a good test, especially next week, with what we’re gonna see about our ability to scale up, especially if these regional sites they’ve been designed to do 2 to 3 times Mawr vaccinations than we currently have supply for eso. We have been assured, for instance, by Kroger that they’re going to be able to dio a normal Tuesday and then, uh, the additional amounts on top of that. So it actually, when we when we reach next week for those that are pushed into next week or later this week, is long as we can move forward. Uh, then then it ought to be a pretty exciting time in those facilities were not worried about any any doses. Um, expiring. The bigger concern is if an area loses power that storing doses. But they all have different agreements and different plans in place, whether they be generators or partners that they could take those doses to. That’s that’s the concern, but it’s been addressed. I’ll turn it over to secretary Great. So, Karen, in terms of our salt supply, simply put, we are in good shape. We started out we started out the season with a plenty of reserves. Uh, in the Louisville’s. There’s a stockpile in the caves, actually of 100,000 tons, and I think we’re at about 85 to 90,000 tons there. There are cases, of course, uh, in counties, occasionally where there will be a shortage. And that’s when the state comes in with its supply Thio to bolster those reserves. Thank you, Tom. Late tech from Kentucky today? Yeah. Good morning, Governor. I’ve got three. I’m gonna throw at you here back in 1994. I think you were still in Henry Henry Clay High School. If I’m not mistaken, Governor Jones closed the interstates with the 94 snowstorm. Are you contemplating something similar to that? Um, and the decision on state government for tomorrow? You know, the general somebody’s already canceled for tomorrow. And are you going to do another state of emergency declaration? So are state of emergency is still in effect? A two moment. We we believe that a second one isn’t needed because it is still open to deal with these storm systems. Obviously, Director Doucet is who We will take guidance from on that because the state of emergency doesn’t just free up resource is, but it’s also critical to get reimbursement if we have high enough expenses for it to qualify with the federal government. That’s one of the reasons that a 30 day limit on emergencies can be a real challenge. When you’re looking at getting reimbursement from, uh, we typically deal with flooding that can last for a significant period of time. In 1994. Yes, I was at Henry Clay. I was waiting to take my driver’s test and got delayed roughly two weeks because of that storm. I remember it well. We’re not currently looking at closing all of the interstates with a blanket order. We will continue to monitor conditions and in sections or segments do what’s necessary. But we’re getting continuous updates from the National Weather Service, and I’m getting those updates from emergency management. State government will be addressing here in a little bit. We have new, um, tools that that covert has forced us, Uh, toe have the ability for people to work virtually so much of state government work virtually for a significant period of time. What we have to do is take kind of our our traditional our office is open or closed and fit it now into our current era, where we have the ability for people. Most people toe work from home, so we’ll be looking at the forecast and and putting that out here soon for state workers. I will be doing the four o’clock today. I’m not too far from this building where I live, so I could get over here and we have the the ability to do it almost entirely remotely. Given that we have had five straight weeks of declining case numbers and and declining positivity rates, we wanna go over those trends tonight. A swell is where we are in in vaccinations. Now. This weather is going to slow down our vaccination some, but we believe we’re gonna be able to pick back up fully, um, that next week, where wherever that is for people. But, well, what you’ll see is we still hope will be over 90% for the week. But wherever we are, that next week will be 120% or 135% it’s It’s unfortunate, but it’s unavoidable. But we got those vaccines ready to go when we’ve got the capacity that we’ve talked about to do a lot more than we’re getting right now. Amina Elahi from wf pl Hi, Governor. Thanks for taking my question. I wanted to clarify exactly which regional vaccination sites are or will be closed over the next you know, today or tomorrow if you could clarify. And also based on your comments just now, it sounds like although there is gonna be a slowdown in vaccinations you’re not particularly concerned about sort of long term trajectory of vaccinations in Kentucky. Could you just expand on that, please? We were not concerned about the long term trajectory. It does delay some people a week and and and that’s that’s a big deal to those people. I don’t want to downplay that at all. We’ve been waiting for these vaccines for so long on. It’s unfortunate that it’s gonna push it back. Ah, week but in. And when we look at the at the long term trajectory Ah, week, um, didn’t gonna slow us down in when we hit immunity because so much supplies expected later. Uh, we’re hoping what we’re getting right now is a trickle compared to what we will get late spring and moving into the summer. And that’s really what’s going to drive us from getting as many people as we can every week vaccinated, especially those that the most harm Thio moving into immunity. But those that are significantly at risk that we’re going to get their vaccine this week be really careful. Um, if you were gonna get it tomorrow. Now, the only, uh, Kroger Regional Center that was gonna be open tomorrow is the new Frankfurt one. So that’s being pushed a week. Everybody else, um, the other ones that have been open our Thursday Friday, Saturday vaccination clinics. Now, the hospitals, uh, that are that are helping us out on this effort. They run their own schedules, so people need to check with them. Obviously, the numbers that they can call our on our vaccine website, so make sure you check on your appointment, But remember, if you have booked an appointment, it may be moved. But you still have your spot. You still have your slot. You are not going to lose it. But make sure you know when it ISS For all of the Kroger regional sites, it’s been moved one week but same time, same location. We need you to show up for that on. It’s exciting about where we are and we’ll talk about it tonight in In vaccinations were well over half a million Kentucky INS that have received their their first shot on. We’re moving in the right direction. If you think about our first case. Um, not quite being a year ago, and one year later we’d have effective vaccines 90 plus percent effective, and we’d have 11. 12% of our population already vaccinated it. It would have been unbelievable at the time, but everybody on the weather today stay safe. We think we lost two people to Kentucky ins to the weather last week. We are awaiting to see if we’ve already lost one. Um, from what happened overnight, we don’t wanna lose anybody else again. We’ve been through too much. We’ve sacrificed too much. You have the ability to work virtually and stay off the roads more than ever before, so take care of one another. Check on your neighbors, especially if you lose power and you have seniors or or those who are tougher to reach or might have extra needs. Be a good neighbor. I know you’ve done it for the last 11 months and let’s do it for this next week and we will take care of each other. Thank you all very much.
‘Please, be careful’: KY governor asks people to limit travel during winter storm
Three winter storms in seven days. Ice, snow and freezing temperatures are back in the forecast again — twice this week, actually — and it could make for some more dangerous conditions.Gov. Andy Beshear held a news conference amid the weather on Monday to update people on the state’s response.He’s stressing that people should stay off the roads when they can and be careful, as roads are expected to deteriorate quickly.”For at least the next two days, today and tomorrow, we’re advising you to limit travel as much as possible. This will help you avoid dangerous conditions, but it also helps our road crews,” he said.Beshear also wants people to have a plan for possible power outages.The governor said the Kentucky National Guard is standing by if needed. They have already been activated in Ashland who are living in remote locations and might need help.The weather is also once again affecting vaccinations. The new Frankfort Kroger vaccination center will be closed Tuesday in anticipation of hazardous roads. All those appointments will happen at the same time and day the following week.Asked how this storm will affect vaccinations, Beshear said they have the capacity to pick up the pace next week.The state transportation officials are working to keep roads clear Monday and are staying prepared for what could come Wednesday.Watch the full update from the state in the player above.
Three winter storms in seven days.
Ice, snow and freezing temperatures are back in the forecast again — twice this week, actually — and it could make for some more dangerous conditions.
Gov. Andy Beshear held a news conference amid the weather on Monday to update people on the state’s response.
He’s stressing that people should stay off the roads when they can and be careful, as roads are expected to deteriorate quickly.
“For at least the next two days, today and tomorrow, we’re advising you to limit travel as much as possible. This will help you avoid dangerous conditions, but it also helps our road crews,” he said.
Beshear also wants people to have a plan for possible power outages.
The governor said the Kentucky National Guard is standing by if needed. They have already been activated in Ashland who are living in remote locations and might need help.
The weather is also once again affecting vaccinations. The new Frankfort Kroger vaccination center will be closed Tuesday in anticipation of hazardous roads. All those appointments will happen at the same time and day the following week.
Asked how this storm will affect vaccinations, Beshear said they have the capacity to pick up the pace next week.
The state transportation officials are working to keep roads clear Monday and are staying prepared for what could come Wednesday.
Watch the full update from the state in the player above.