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Governor warns Kentuckians to prepare for severe weather

ice-on-branchesFRANKFORT, Ky.  (Dec. 6, 2013) – Kentuckians may be in line for a punishing round of winter storms beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend.

Gov. Steve Beshear has warned all Kentuckians to prepare for those storms, which may bring heavy rain, snow, sleet, and ice across the state.  He also promised the state’s emergency management system would closely monitor the severe weather as well as remain in close contact with local officials.

“My staff has been in daily contact with our emergency management team and the National Weather Service to determine the risks for Kentuckians.  While the weather models may change over the coming hours, it seems clear that many Kentuckians are in the path of nasty weather,” said Beshear.  “I strongly encourage families and businesses to be prepared for possible power outages, difficult travel and other possible impacts of snow, ice and flooding.”

Most of the state is under a weather watch of some kind for the next several days.

•  Western Kentucky: A winter storm warning has been issued for western Kentucky starting Thursday night through Friday.  Generally, rain will change to freezing rain, then snow. This winter storm may be significant for this region, with wind gusts up 22 mph possible on Friday.

Central Kentucky:  A winter storm watch has been issued for central Kentucky. A strong cold front moved through the Ohio Valley Thursday night, setting the stage for a mixture of rain, snow, and sleet or freezing rain on Friday. After a dry but cold Saturday, the chance for freezing precipitation returns on Sunday.

Eastern Kentucky: A flood watch is in effect for much of eastern Kentucky through Saturday.  A cold front will move through eastern Kentucky Friday night, creating the potential of heavy rainfall across the area.  Heavy rain could lead to localized flooding as well as significant rises on area streams and rivers from late Friday night through Sunday.  Another round of heavy rainfall is expected to occur from Sunday through Monday.

Weather safety tips and weather alerts by county can be found on the Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) website at kyem.ky.gov.

Citizens are encouraged to avoid downed power lines, and to report downed lines to their local utility provider or 911.