Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews prepare for winter storm
Salt supplies and equipment readied; Crews prepared to work long hours
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2010) – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) road crews are preparing for the next round of winter weather expected late Wednesday into Thursday.
Highway district crews have been hauling salt from storage areas to maintenance facilities. Crews continue those efforts today in order to replenish salt supplies before any snow, sleet and freezing rain begins to fall.
With precipitation predicted to fall during overnight hours, KYTC road crews will be held over past their normal work schedule. Contract crews will be used as well.
“Our crews are prepared to work long hours to keep roadways cleared of accumulation as much as possible,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said.
Most districts report that with thousands of tons of salt already spread on roadways earlier this week, there is still a substantial amount of salt residue on the pavement. That means in those areas no pre-treating with brine will be required for this weather event.
Ahead of the storm, crews in local highway districts have been checking equipment, making repairs and generally preparing for extensive efforts to clear roadways once the storm hits.
Motorists are advised to give a wide berth to plows, salt trucks and other snow-clearing heavy equipment. To be effective in dispersing de-icing material, trucks tend to travel at a slower speed. A snow plow may create a snow cloud which can cause a “whiteout” –zero visibility condition – so keep a safe distance from the trucks.
As KYTC crews have made preparations for clearing roadways, motorists should also be prepared for driving in snow and ice by following these tips:
• Make sure your vehicle is sufficiently winterized – check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, wipers and windshield washer.
• Check the forecast and call 511 or visit 511.ky.gov for the latest condition reports before traveling. Avoid nonessential travel if conditions are dangerous.
• Dress warmly for the weather –in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, in anticipation of unexpected emergencies.
• Try to keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent fuel line freezing and to prepare for possible lengthy delays on the roadway.
• Make sure a friend or relative is aware of your travel route.
• Carry a cell phone.
• Make sure your vehicle has an emergency care kit. It should include jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, blankets, nonperishable food, a first aid kit, and traction material.
• Drive carefully. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Do not use cruise control.
• Give a wide berth to snow removal equipment.
• Remember that bridges and exit and entrance ramps can be icy when other areas are not.
• Stopping in snow requires more braking distance than stopping on dry pavement – up to four times more distance. Make sure to put plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead.
• Be visible. Dull, cloudy days will cut down on visibility, so drive using low-beam headlights.
• Steer into the skid. Stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go.