Following extremely cold temperatures and wind chills across Kentucky, three persons have died, Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday.
In a morning news briefing, the governor said one of the victims died in a vehicle accident in Western Kentucky. The other was a person with insecure housing in Louisville. About an hour later, Beshear said in a tweet that a third fatality had occurred.
As an arctic front settled across Kentucky Thursday evening into Friday, temperatures went into the single digits and snow accumulated in parts of the state. The National Weather Service’s Jackson office recorded a local temperature of -2 degrees late Friday morning. Around the same time, the Louisville office said the temperature was -3 degrees in that area.
The governor also noted some wrecks on interstates, which included I-64 in Scott County and on I-71 in Gallatin County.
“Last night, we had most people stay off the roads, which last night had led to really only one major backup across Kentucky. We have a smaller one in Louisville, but that was resolved, but it appears now some more people are getting out on the roads now that’s light. It’s not safe,” Beshear said. “ So, now we have two interstate backups that can create dangerous situations. So, please stay home. Stay safe. Stay off the roads. Stay alive.”
Officials had taken steps to winterize travel trailers housing victims of flooding and tornadoes. The governor said that work had largely been effective, but two trailers had issues with water in Eastern Kentucky and another with heating in Western Kentucky. The families are safe and maintenance is underway.
“Staying off the roads today is still the best guidance,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. He said commercial wrecker services, Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky National Guard are also partnering with KYTC workers.
Current travel information can be found at snowky.ky.gov.
To find a local warming shelter, contact your county’s emergency management agency and follow them on social media. Local first responders’ accounts may post warming center information. State parks are also acting as backup warming centers. Contact the one closest to you for availability.
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