JACKSON, KY – (Dec. 23, 2004) -- From all indications, drivers and highway workers in the 10-county area of the Department of Highways District 10 received an early Christmas present -- they were spared the brunt of a record-shattering winter storm that pounded western and central parts of the state yesterday.
At daybreak Thursday, steady overnight rain had given way to light snow and the precipitation was tapering off as the storm system moved rapidly out of the area. As of 9 a.m., radar from the National Weather Service office in Jackson showed only a minor amount of precipitation remaining the district’s easternmost areas, with it moving quickly to the northeast.
The greatest snow accumulation in the district was approximately two inches in the district’s westernmost county of Estill. Elsewhere, only spotty to light accumulations were beginning to be seen on grassy areas and rooftops. Roads were generally wet with a few snowy spots.
Crews were out salting the roads to melt any snow and ice that may accumulate.
No major flooding problems have been reported resulting from overnight rainfall, but crews are monitoring a slide of mud and trees on KY 80 in Perry County, just west of the Knott County line. The slide has encroached onto the shoulder of the eastbound lanes, and the shoulder is closed at that location. Drivers are urged to use caution in that area. The combination of rain-soaked ground and freezing temperatures may trigger rockfalls, so motorists should look out for fallen rocks in the roadway in areas along rock cuts, especially those areas marked with "Fallen Rock Zone" signs.
Motorists are reminded that as the temperature falls during the day, any water remaining on the roadways may freeze, creating slick conditions. Motorists are also reminded that bridge surfaces freeze before other parts of the highway, and are urged to use caution on bridges and overpasses. Gusty winds have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a wind advisory for the area, which may impact drivers of high-profile vehicles. The approaching Christmas holiday may also contribute to an increase in traffic, so drivers should use appropriate caution, remain alert and observant to conditions around them, and be sure to wear their seat belts for safety.
District 10 covers a 10-county area of east central and eastern Kentucky, including Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell and Wolfe counties.