Monday, February 16, 2015
HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12 –District 12 put 73 snow plows and 11 graders on the roads shortly after daylight this morning, when snow reached plowable levels. Aided by eight contract plow operators, D-12 Snowfighters are working across the district to keep roads passable through this winter storm.
Early Monday afternoon, Knott and Letcher crews were plowing mostly covered roads. Every other county in the district (Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Lawrence) reported completely covered roads. Six of the ten maintenance garages are using graders and contract graders are assisting in Johnson and Floyd counties. Snow accumulation at noon ranged from 2-6” with air temperatures at 15-20 degrees.
The snow is mostly a dry powder, easily plowed, but coming down in such volume that plowed driving lanes quickly become covered again.
At some point, operators will stop spreading salt and concentrate only on plowing. Pavement temperatures are below the point at which salt is effective. With the necessity of repeated plowing, salt would be scraped away, in any event.
At 4 o’clock this afternoon, crews will switch to 12-hour shifts for the duration of the storm. Snow is expected to continue falling until tomorrow morning. “We won’t see black pavement until the snow stops,” said Darold Slone, Engineering Branch Manager for Lawrence, Martin, Johnson, and Floyd counties. “The more the snow compacts from traffic, combined with single digit temperatures tonight, the more dangerous the roads could be in the morning.”
Paxton Weddington, Engineering Branch Manager for Pike, Knott, and Letcher counties, said that people need to remember that the safest thing about their vehicles is the driver. “You are person who determines whether you are safe on the roads,” Weddington said. “No roads in District 12 are closed. We urge you to stay at home and not get out, but if you feel you must, remember that safety should be your first concern. Your safety is certainly our first concern; that’s why all our highway equipment operators are risking their safety to clear the roads.”
Weddington and Slone both urged people who must travel to give the snowplows a wide berth. “Give them time and space to work,” Slone said. “Do not try to challenge a snow plow, pass a plow, or tailgate one. They have to a certain speed to get the job done, and they cannot stop on a dime.”
Transportation Cabinet road crews battle heavy snowfall
Kentucky Press News Service
FRANKFORT – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews, reinforced with contract plow operators, are working across the state today in an effort to keep priority routes passable as a winter storm with heavy snowfall sets in.
Crews report that the snow is mostly a dry powder, easily plowed but coming down in such volume that plowed driving lanes quickly become covered again, a state news release said.
Crews in many areas are concentrating on plowing instead of salting. Pavement temperatures typically are below the point at which salt is effective. And with the necessity of repeated plowing, salt would be scraped away, in any event.
The Transportation Cabinet can deploy 1,000 snow plows and 385 contractors with plows, but has responsibility for 63,000 lane miles of roadway. The cabinet also deployed 17 SAFE trucks – Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies – whose drivers are trained to render emergency assistance.