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What went wrong with snow response from road crews in central Kentucky?

What went wrong with snow response from road crews in central Kentucky?
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 5:22 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The snow has stopped, but many across our region are still feeling the effects of the storm.

Thousands of drivers in multiple locations were stuck for hours. Some didn’t get home until early Friday morning.

Two major problem areas in central Kentucky were I-64 in Clark County and Montgomery County, and I-75 at the Fayette-Madison County line. Traffic was backed up from the Clays Ferry Bridge all the way past exit 104, which is about six miles.

Transportation crews have been working 12-hour shifts, and their work is still not done.

Cars and trucks were moving slowly again Friday on I-75 at the Clays Ferry Bridge. The hill there, officials said, needed an extra helping of salt on this frigid day.

“The roads are very icy. A lot of stretches aren’t plowed right. So it’s just causing people pretty much to stay in one lane,” said Pamela Springer-Johnson, who is from Michigan.

Still, it’s better than much of Thursday. It was basically a parking lot at the Fayette-Madison County line.

It was a similar scene on I-64 in Clark and Montgomery Counties. The Montgomery County Sheriff said at least 50 cars were involved in a pile-up. By midnight, they’d cleared at least 500 cars caught in the back-up. Some drivers were stuck for more than 15 hours.

Natasha Lacy, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 7 whose area includes both of those major problem spots, said heavy snow, heavy traffic and frigid temperatures were not a good mix.

The issues began not long after the snow started falling, and it came down hard. WKYT’s Garrett Wymer asked if crews should have done more.

“There’s not anything more that could’ve been done. Everything possible was put into place. Every preparation was made. Crews have worked diligently. There is nothing more that could’ve been done,” Lacy said.

And with plenty of notice for the snowstorm, Lacy stressed that in a situation like that, more people need to stay home unless they have to be out.

Jack-knifed semis and other crashes were big culprits. On Friday, it’s slick conditions, particularly with the hill at the Clays Ferry Bridge.

Drivers are taking it slow, and it could be tomorrow before we really start to see a difference there. Temperatures above freezing should really help.

With frigid temperatures continuing overnight, though, officials are warning of black ice, even on areas that have already been cleared.

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