If you are waking up in Kentucky today, you are likely waking up underneath a blanket of snow. The National Weather Service reports that roughly 8 to 10 inches fell in areas around Richmond and Lexington. Some travelers were stranded on I-75 for hours as crews attempted to clear the roads of accidents and accumulation.
The snow fell so quickly that road crews worked through the night to try and stem the dangerous conditions, after yesterday's storm. Conditions remain dangerous this morning as you begin commuting or, hopefully, staying home and warm. Some roads remain closed, efforts were made to reopen I-75 after closures from Rockcastle through Lexington delayed travelers.
I-75 remains delayed this morning, along with I-64 out of Fayette County, but both roads are open. Yesterday's semi accidents have been cleared and roads were treated overnight, but the conditions are still not ideal for unnecessary travel. Although some injuries were reported in yesterday's accident near Mount Sterling, with an estimated 50 vehicles involved and nearly 100 accidents in Lexington, no major injuries have been reported at this time.
Check your local news sources for closures and up to date information on businesses and traffic conditions before traveling. Restrict travel if you do not have to be out and plan ahead by traveling with necessities. Before you leave home, ensure that your vehicle has the following items in case you are stranded and aid cannot get to you quickly:
- Extra blankets
- A waterproof jacket
- Shoes with good tread
- Gloves and a winter hat
- Bottled water
- Enough food to last roughly 3 days
- A pocket knife or multitool
- Duct tape
- A roadside kit with signal flares or reflective triangles so that responders can see you
- Car charge for your cellular device
- A full tank of fuel
In the winter it is good practice to keep your car fueled. You never know when you could be stranded and need to use the vehicle as shelter in inclement weather. Being able to use the heat in your vehicle or sit in traffic for extended periods of time could save your life. In rural areas of Kentucky, responders might have trouble finding your vehicle in snow drifts, over embankments or in ditchlines that are often deep and difficult to see while driving in white out conditions. It is also difficult to get cell phone signal in many areas which might result in you walking to a nearby home or business in the snow. Be prepared and know your surroundings. Never assume someone is coming to help, knows where you are or can see you or your vehicle. If you are involved in an accident, you should remain in your vehicle. Icy roads can make it difficult for drivers to stop which can result in you being involved in a secondary pedestrian accident. If you are traveling in rural areas, ensure that you pack your survival kit into a backpack that you can take with you and dress warmly in case you have to survive outside of your vehicle to find help. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has more winter travel tips you should be familiar with as conditions change this winter.