Much of Central Ky. gets 4 to 5 inches of snow in latest storm

jwarren@herald-leader.comFebruary 3, 2014 

  • A system bringing sleet and freezing rain is expected to move in late Tuesday afternoon, and it will get colder. Lows later this week will be in the single digits.

A round of ice followed by a buildup of snow late Sunday and early Monday left commuters slipping and sliding on Lexington streets, delayed travelers at Blue Grass Airport and closed schools for yet another day.

More ice may be on the way later Tuesday.

WKYT chief meteorologist Chris Bailey said "another messy system" would be moving in late Tuesday afternoon and into the evening, bringing sleet and freezing rain.

And, he said, "it's going to get cold again."

Morning temperatures later this week will be in the "high single digits."

Bailey said more snow was possible Saturday night and Sunday.

Snow totals varied in the region Monday, from 4 inches in Lexington — which Bailey said was a record for the day — to nearly 7 inches in some spots, according to the National Weather Service.

"There was quite a spread in the snowfall totals," forecaster Ron Steve said. "If I had to draw an axis of the heaviest snow, it would run roughly from Brandenburg, Ky., across the south part of the Louisville metro area, across Shelby County, north to Frankfort, up toward into Cynthiana. That's where the heaviest of it went."

Bailey said he was most concerned about how some of those areas might fare if they get ice Tuesday on top of trees already weighed down by snow.

He also said there could be some minor flooding in southeastern Kentucky, which got rain rather than ice and snow Sunday and early Monday.

In Central Kentucky, the sleet and ice lasted longer than expected, reducing the snowfall totals for many, Bailey said. Residents had been warned that as much as 10 inches were possible.

Fayette County Public Schools were closed Monday, and classes at the University of Kentucky were canceled.

By Monday afternoon, Lexington officials said that while the city's main arteries were clear, crews were working on secondary roads and school bus routes.

City officials said trash collection was canceled Monday. Crews were scheduled to provide make-up service Wednesday.

Meanwhile, an Allegiant Air flight from Florida had to wait more than two hours to unload its passengers at Blue Grass Airport on Monday morning, apparently because of other planes waiting to be de-iced.

An Allegiant spokeswoman said the flight landed shortly after 9 a.m. and unloaded about 11:27 a.m.

Rick Mason of Frankfort, whose plane was delayed in getting de-iced, said passengers were told there was a problem with de-icing equipment.

Airport spokeswoman Louise Bowden said there was a backup among planes that were waiting to be de-iced. But she said she didn't know how many flights might have been affected.

"I know there were some delays because of de-icing problems," she said.

The slippery roads kept Lexington police busy throughout the morning. Officers had worked 48 non-injury wrecks and three injury collisions by mid-day Monday, said Sherelle Roberts, police spokesperson.

As the day began, streets were snow-covered and slick in many spots, with drivers struggling to get up hills.

Rob Allen, the city's acting deputy director of streets and roads, said city road crews were hampered overnight because the storm began as rain. That made it impossible for trucks to pre-treat roads with salt because it would have washed off quickly, he said.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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