State of Emergency Declared in Kentucky After Winter Storm Paralyzes State, Causes Pileups

by Victoria Santiago
(Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

Gov. Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency for Kentucky amidst an intense winter storm. Heavy snow started earlier today (1/6). The snow is expected to continue into the evening. Many areas have already received several inches of snow. For example, Bardstown and Leitchfield have already gotten nine inches of snow.

Highways Affected By Kentucky Winter Storm

Already, the snow has caused damage and traffic issues. Gov. Beshear stated that there have been multiple pileups on KY’s major interstates. Interstate 64 was closed after 50 to 75 cars piled up near Mount Sterling. Police in Lexington stopped responding to non-injury car crashes on Interstate 75. They had been called to the scene of over 100 car crashes. Search and rescue teams are currently doing safety checks on any motorists that have been stranded on the roads. Additionally, Gov. Beshear sent out the National Guard to monitor closed interstates.

Elizabethtown had a 20 to 30 car pileup on the Western Kentucky Parkway this afternoon. Cars, trucks, and even semi-trucks were all over the road. A correspondent for WKYT reported that it took seven hours to cross a bridge leading out of Lexington. By 7:30 p.m., Lexington had already gotten nine inches of snow. The city usually only sees 14 inches of snow per year. As of right now, all three highways (Interstate 64, Interstate 75, and Western Kentucky Parkway) are open again. If you MUST go out, you can check road conditions online. However, the best choice is to not travel. Officials are urging people to stay home until the winter storm subsides. Tomorrow temperatures are expected to reach the single digits. Winter storm conditions are not expected to improve.

Power outages are also spreading quickly throughout the state. Both public and private property have already been damaged from the winter storm. In addition, many school districts canceled school for today, and government offices were closed by noon.

Dangerous Weather Running Rampant in Kentucky

This devastating winter storm comes just days after Gov. Beshear announced a state of emergency due to dangerous storms. At the beginning of the year, some counties in K.Y. were plagued by intense thunderstorms and hailstorms. Heavy rain and strong winds were also present. Flash flooding and property damage from the storms happened throughout the state. There were also a couple of unconfirmed tornadoes. In anticipation of state-wide flash flooding, many roads were closed.

Just days later, we’re seeing road closures once again due to a winter storm. Freezing weather was actually on the tail end of those severe storms. It made recovery complicated. Now, KY is in the middle of a full-blown winter storm. All in all, we’ve got to keep KY residents in our thoughts, Outsiders. Between this winter storm, flash flooding at the beginning of this week, and the deadly tornadoes from last month, they’re hurting.