Snow Preparations

In this file photo, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet workers Chucky Hunt and Les Gifford place chains of the rear tires of a snow plow.

WILMINGTON, Ohio – Wintry weather is expected to come to the area over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS station in Wilmington, Ohio has issued a winter storm watch for Mason and surrounding counties beginning Friday, and lasting until Saturday morning.

In its latest update, the NWS said that rain will transition to mixed precipitation Friday morning and then to snow on Friday afternoon.

The NWS radar has parts of Mason Lewis, Bracken, and Robertson counties, as well as all of Brown and Adams counties with a 73 percent chance of receiving greater than two inches of snow accumulation. Ice accumulation is also possible, according to NWS.

According to the NWS, there is a 100 percent chance of rain that transitions into freezing rain with a 100 percent chance of snow that night along with an 80 percent chance of sleet. After Friday, temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until after next Wednesday, Jan. 17.

“It’s unlikely crews will be able to pretreat roadways Friday because rain will wash away any brine or other chemicals,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesperson Allen Blair. “But, crews will remain on alert and can treat highways with salt when ice or snow starts to fall.”

Mason County Judge-Executive Joe Pfeffer said he doesn’t expect a huge impact from the weather,

“The ice has been pushed to less than before if any at all,” Pfeffer said. “It’s easier to deal with snow than ice. There’s less of a chance of electric and power outages.”

As of press time, ice accumulation is expected to be less than 0.1 of an inch, according to NWS.

“We have snow emergency levels we implement if needed,” Pfeffer said. “I don’t expect this event to get to those levels.”

Pfeffer said the main thing to keep in mind is driving carefully in winter weather conditions.

“The main thing is for people to allow more time to get to where they’re going,” Pfeffer said. “Use common sense. That’s better than any kind of plan we can implement.”

According to Pfeffer, Mason County road crews are on standby in case road conditions do worsen throughout the weekend.

“Our supervisors are ready and our trucks are ready,” Pfeffer said. “They’re all on alert and will be called if necessary.”

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According to Blair, motorists should still prepare for slick travel Friday afternoon even with salt trucks on the roads.

“Freezing rain creates ice that’s harder to remove from pavement,” Blair said.

Road crews will keep a special eye on intersections, hills and bridges, Pfeffer said.

“Those areas tend to be problematic. We have our roads laid out in routes for drivers so they’ll know exactly where to go when they are needed,” he said.

Blair said that motorists are urged that it takes time to clear snow from the 2,000 miles of roadways in Kentucky. As such, roads probably won’t be clear until the storm passes.

“If you don’t have to drive in the snow, don’t,” Blair said. “If you do, take it slow, leave space between vehicles to allow for safer braking and remember that bridges and overpasses can freeze before roadways.”

Road conditions in Kentucky can be checked at goky.ky.gov. Roads in Ohio can be checked at www.ohgo.com.

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