Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews in western Kentucky have received a lot of help from the sunshine today.
While ambient air temperatures have been in the 31 degree range, the sun had raised pavement temperatures up into the mid-40s by mid-afternoon at most locations. That has helped to activate salt and other ice-fighting chemicals.
Most "A" Priority Routes such as Interstates, parkways, and federal highways are cleared. Crews have moved to "B" and "C" Snow Priority Routes in a big way today.
"A" Routes are in good condition, many with dry pavement from the sunshine. However, many "B" and "C" Routes continue to have sections of snow cover, especially where trees or an embankment blocks sunshine from hitting the pavement.
While driving conditions are greatly improved from Friday, low temperatures expected tonight create a threat of refreezing. Anyone who plans to be on the road tonight or early Sunday should be alert for icy spots and the possibility of black ice at any location where the pavement is damp as low temperatures approach the 10 degree mark.
Several crews battled drifts ranging from 3 to 6 feet deep overnight and into the morning hours today. Henderson County and Graves County both had blocked highways. Union County also battled drifts. During the overnight hours and early today heavy equipment was used to bust through the drifts. Whenever possible, the snow was pushed back to allow two lanes of travel. Due to the depth of the drifts, there are still a few isolated sections where traffic is restricted to one lane. Drifts are expected to be less of an issue now that winds have dropped substantially.
Some highway crews expect to complete their work for this event tonight. However, many will continue snow and ice operations into the night hours. Several expect to return to work on Sunday morning to complete work on their "C" Routes.