Kentucky is under a state of emergency as Winter Storm Landon is expected to blanket much of the state with ice throughout the day and night Thursday.
Gov. Andy Beshear declared the emergency on Wednesday in advance of the storm and closed state buildings for Thursday. Many businesses followed suit and announced closures a day in advance, with school districts across the state either canceling classes or switching to remote learning.
As of 2 pm ET Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service reported that more than 10,000 households in Kentucky were without power. The bulk of those outages was in the far western part of the state and some of the same areas devastated by tornadoes in December.
State officials have urged Kentuckians to stay off the roads during the storm, limiting travel for what’s only necessary. Since the storm began as rain, it hindered any effort to pretreat the roads as the salt and brine would just be washed away.
In a statement, Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Emergency Management, said that Landon threatened to become “one of the most dangerous events in our recent history” due to the forecasted accumulations of ice.
“Please make every effort to stay off of all local and interstate roadways, as travel will be extremely hazardous, and rescue efforts for stranded motorists will severely limit first responder capabilities,” he said.
The Weather Service said freezing rain and sleet will continue through Thursday night before converting to a mix of snow and sleet.
Many counties that border the Ohio River may get up to a half-inch of ice, with snow and sleet accumulations expected to be between one and two inches along the river. A wide swath of Central and Eastern Kentucky counties is expected to receive about a quarter-inch. Meteorologists say that’s enough to coat and even snap tree branches and power lines.
The Weather Service expects travel to be hazardous across the state through Friday morning. While the storm will clear for the weekend, temperatures are not expected to go above freezing until Sunday.
This article was originally posted on Kentucky under a state of emergency as Landon peppers state with ice