BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With dangerous winter conditions predicted to blow through the commonwealth, the governor of Kentucky has declared a state of emergency.
Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21 and urged Kentuckians to stay indoors if possible after midday on Thursday, Dec. 22. Subzero temperatures and wind gusts upwards of 40 miles an hour along with chances of precipitation led the governor’s office to announce to the state that caution should be exercised on every front.
Beshear said in his address wind chills would go down to the negative 20s in some parts of the state paired with 2 to 4 inches of snow. Because of this, he and other state officials told the public to stay indoors unless necessary.
Trooper Daniel Priddy of the Kentucky State Police told News 40 in an interview that the “best way to combat this is if you don’t have to be on the roads, don’t be. Don’t drive unless it’s absolutely necessary”.
Wes Watt, a public information officer with the Kentucky Cabinet of Transportation, said the same thing, adding that, though crews will be out attempting to treat the roads, efforts might prove futile as the salt solution they use loses effectiveness under 20 degree weather.
Of course, if you have to get on the road due to emergencies or being an essential worker, you want to make sure your car is up for the cold snap.
We spoke with the owner of Musser Automotive, Jason Musser. Musser told us a few things to look out for, those being your antifreeze, windshield wipers and battery.
Musser said after the first cold snap, “lots of batteries are going to die. When it gets so cold, something inside the battery can break…” and that he was positive on Monday, his shop would receive more than a few calls regarding cars not starting up in the morning. He attributes this mostly to the battery just being old and not able to handle the temperature drop. For reference, a car battery is “old” after 3 years.
The mechanic also said to make sure your wipers are up and unobstructed as they can easily break when turned on. And hopefully you have the proper ratio of water to antifreeze in your engine. Musser said too much water could freeze and crack the metal with no problem.
Toward the end of his interview, Priddy encouraged the public to follow him or the Kentucky Cabinet of Transportation on social media for updates on the road conditions in south central Kentucky rather than call 911 or dispatch. Priddy said that he influx of calls makes it hard to get emergency services where they need to go.
He also said if you have to travel, have some supplies with you. “When it gets real cold, go outside and pretend like you’d have to be there for an hour. Everything that you would want from your house, put it in a bag and put it in your car.” This also included things like blankets, extra clothes, food, water and phone chargers.
The trooper also wanted the public to remember that the weather affects KSP vehicles just like anyone elses, so to be prepared to wait for services if something were to occur.