- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Governor Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon promising funds to areas coping with this week’s winter storm. Beshear said his primary concerns were roads, electric power, heating assistance and shelter.
“We are prepared to use every available resource to help Kentuckians make it through these rough conditions,” said Beshear in a press release issued Tuesday.
The winter storm that blew through Kentucky Monday has buried the state under a mixture of snow and ice. Reports are that 60,000 Kentuckians are without power, primarily west of I-65 and south of I-64.
According to Spencer County Dispatch, only 16 people along Mill and Goodlett roads have reported power outages due to the winter storm. Monday was described as “quiet” with very few weather related calls to police.
Road crews, however, had their hands full with the amount of snow that needs to be removed. The Kentucky Department of Transportation began Monday night preparing crews for the work ahead. By Tuesday morning, state crews were working to clear snow, ice and downed trees.
In Spencer County, two inches of the wintry mixture fell by Tuesday morning.
Taylorsville city operator Rick McClain said he was called into work at 2 a.m. to begin clearing city side streets. The city crew planned three more trips through town – plowing and salting – before getting some rest.
“Then we’ll come back in the morning and start it all over again,” said McClain.
McClain estimated by Tuesday morning they had already dispersed 4,500 lbs. of salt on city roads.
Spencer County Judge Executive David Jenkins said the county road crew primarily uses brine and cinders to combat slippery roads.
“Cinders will give you more traction over ice,” said Jenkins.
County road crews began plowing throughout the county’s five districts by 3:30 a.m. and, like the city, planned to continue working as needed.
“It’s just difficult to deal with ice,” said Jenkins. “Hopefully we will get some help in the form of some warmer temperatures, but it doesn’t look good.”
Forecasts for today show a 100 percent chance of precipitation. With a high of 31 degrees, that likely means more freezing rain.
Homeowners were advised to take precautions for power outages.
• Layer it on. If you need extra warmth and don’t have an alternate heat source such as a fireplace or wood stove, layer loose clothing, put on a hat and grab extra blankets. Never use charcoal briquettes, camping stoves, or other propane or kerosene-powered appliances indoors.
• Keep your curtains closed and limit your trips outside. This way, you’ll keep in your existing heat for a longer period. Also, choose one room to stay in and close it off.
• Grab your battery-powered radio and tune into a local news radio station. You’ll stay informed of emerging weather issues and may find out when your power will be restored.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no weather-related injuries or deaths had been reported.
Those in need of home-heating assistance are encouraged to apply for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Community Action Kentucky (CAK) administers LIHEAP benefits through its network of 23 community action agencies under a contract with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
As of mid-January, more than 49,500 applications had been approved for crisis assistance. Assistance may take the form of utility payment, service reconnection, blankets, space heaters, deliveries of fuel like firewood, coal or propane. Relief is provided within 48 hours, or 18 hours in an emergency.