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Snow and cold temperatures cause dangerous road conditions across Kentucky

Trees and ground covered with snow in Louisville's Shelby Park.
Louisville was expected to see one to three inches of snow Thursday ahead of bitter cold overnight.

Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency late Thursday evening as snow continued to fall across the state. 

“The weather we are continuing to see across Kentucky is dangerous,” Beshear wrote in a press release.

Several inches of snow fell, with some areas receiving more than 9 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Louisville saw 2 to 3 inches of snow over the course of six hours.

The storm became increasingly dangerous as the snow combined with low temperatures. 

“It was a ‘perfect storm, literally,” Jim Gray, Kentucky Transportation Secretary, wrote in a press release. “Heavy snowfall, combined with heavy, midday traffic and freezing pavement temperatures. The heavy traffic slowed many of our snow plows and salt trucks, and freezing pavement meant ice beneath the snow.”

Hundreds of car accidents were reported across the commonwealth as several interstates experienced backups and severe traffic. The I-75 northbound lanes were shut down due to the snow.

Crews with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet worked overnight to get roadways back to safe conditions and said the biggest issue they ran into was black ice.

“Our crews are doing the best they can, but they need the public’s cooperation and assistance. At the moment, that means staying off the road unless travel is absolutely necessary,” Gray wrote.

While the snow has stopped, the cold temperatures are expected to last until Saturday afternoon. 

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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