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Kentucky Emergency Management preparing for winter storm

Some areas forecast to receive 18 or more inches of snow

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2016) — Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) is bracing for a major winter storm approaching the commonwealth. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Kentucky as the weather event approaches the commonwealth.

“Over the next 48 hours, a major winter storm is expected to impact many regions of Kentucky—potentially causing ice-related damage, service interruption and impassable roadways,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Our agencies are monitoring the conditions and coordinating communications with local officials and emergency personnel in preparation. Safety is our first priority; so it is very important to restrict travel to a minimum.”

Officials began tracking the approaching weather system with the National Weather Service (NWS) earlier this week and have maintained communications as the storm approaches the state. KYEM and other state and local officials have participated in conference calls with NWS offices serving Kentucky discussing the impending winter storm and possible impacts.

Snow amounts have been forecast up to 18 plus inches east of Interstate 65 with six inches along the Ohio River corridor, to up to 14 inches in the central Bluegrass Region. Ice will be a concern in the southern regions of Central Kentucky, which may cause power outages.

The Commonwealth Emergency Operation Center (CEOC), located in Frankfort, remains activated at a heightened level of alert with additional staffing in place. Other Emergency Support cabinet partners will be activated as the weather impact dictates.

Coming at the end of a moderate snowfall earlier in the week, Michael Dossett, Director of Kentucky Emergency Management, warned, “The forecasted weather beginning on Thursday evening has the potential to impact every county in the commonwealth. From all indications, this event will include rain, sleet, icing, heavy snowfall and gusting winds. We are urging citizens to limit or curtail their travel on interstates and local roadways from Thursday evening through Saturday morning in order to allow our state and local emergency crews to perform their duties in a timely fashion.”

Dossett activated the State Emergency Operations Center in anticipation of this strong weather event and has conferenced with allied state agencies, local officials and emergency managers across the state.

Officials warn this storm could disrupt services so citizens should be prepared. The best advice is to just stay home and avoid travel, but if you must travel allow extra time, take it slow and allow plenty of space between vehicles.

KYEM officials encourage everyone to remain alert and continue to monitor their local broadcasting stations and NOAA weather alert radios and to check on neighbors, the elderly and those with special needs.

Road conditions throughout the state can be found on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s website at www.511.ky.gov, by calling 511 in Kentucky or 1-866-737-3767 for out-of-state callers.

Complete weather forecasts by region can be found at www.weather.gov.

Additional winter safety and preparedness tips, including winter driving tips, can be found on the KYEM web site at www.kyem.ky.gov, where you can follow KYEMPIO on Twitter and ‘like’ us on Facebook. Follow and share updates on social media using #KyWX.