Governor declares weather emergency

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear has declared an emergency in Kentucky as the state expects a powerful winter storm to cause more havoc.

The governor's declaration, announced at a news conference at the Transportation Cabinet's Operations Center, allows state resources to help cities and counties to cope with power outages and other damage caused by ice and snow.

"We are prepared to use every available resource to help Kentuckians make it through these rough conditions, whatever may come," Beshear said.

Transportation Secretary Joe Prather said the state's challenge is to deal more with ice than snow. "We're expecting a rough time tonight and tomorrow," he said.

Chris Berman, senior vice president for E.ON U.S., Kentucky Utilites and LG&E, said about 52,000 Kentuckians are without power, mostly in Western Kentucky.

Outage reports mostly have come from west of Interstate 65 and south of I-64, he said.

Beshear said all non-essential workers could leave work Tuesday at 3 p.m. and may use their discretion on whether to report to work Wednesday.

Workers have to make up their lost time within four months.

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