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Bitter cold and gusty winds stay put as crews work to keep Kentucky roads clear

Josh James

Kentucky officials are urging drivers to postpone holiday trips amid the ongoing winter storm.

As gusty winds helped blanket Kentucky with snow overnight and temperatures took a dive into the single digits and below, the state reports at least three Kentuckians were lost, around 25,000 were without power, and some interstates saw major backups.

Still, transportation secretary Jim Gray says crews were fairly successful in clearing roadways.

"Our crews overnight were able to do their work, and I got this report all across the state from our chief district engineers from west moving east," Gray said. "They were very thankful that folks were listening to the guidance and the encouragement to stay off the road."

And authorities are hoping drivers continue to observe that guidance, even if it means holding off on or canceling trips at least at the start of the holiday weekend. Gov. Andy Beshear...

By Friday afternoon, power outages had dropped to roughly 22,000 and while crews are hoping to make progress digging out, conditions will remain dangerously cold with a wind chill advisory remaining in effect through early Saturday afternoon.

While some minor improvements in winter weather conditions are expected into Saturday, the bitterly cold temperatures and winds aren't going anywhere for now.

Lexington crews began treating roads with salt and other materials at 8 pm last night. Another crew took over at 8 am this morning, as ice and drifting snow continued to cover the city.

Overnight, Lexington police responded to 56 traffic-related calls with no major injury accidents.

For now, the official advice remains the same as on the state level: keep off the roads if at all possible. The city's snow and ice removal services are working to clear areas with highest traffic volume first, giving consideration to public transportation access and emergency services.

Blue Grass Airport has seen some delays and cancellations. Flyers are being encouraged to check their airline's website or mobile app for updates.

Likewise, anyone relying on Lextran to get around should check Lextran.com to see which stops are affected as the service is operating under its Snow Plan.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has advised residents to remain at home through the weekend if possible.

Temperatures are expected to drop back into negative territory tonight with winds continuing to gust up to 35 mph.

Live traffic updates:

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.