Somerset —The first major snow storm of the winter season came a little earlier than Pulaski Countians may be accustomed to, but it doesn’t mean they were caught unprepared. “So far everyone is driving conservatively des-pite the snow packed roads,” said Detective Shannon Smith, with the Somerset Police Depart-ment. Although temperatures were generally mild for December on Friday and Saturday, temperatures plummeted on Sunday ahead of a cold front and accompanying storm sys-tem that blasted mid-America with high winds and heavy snow. “It doesn’t happen a lot ... but it’s not extremely rare,” said meteorologist David Shallenberger, with the National Weather Service in Jackson, about the time of year the county received the snowfall. Kentucky wasn’t spared. As of Monday afternoon, Pulaski County had rec-eived anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of snow since the snowfall began in earnest Sunday. The heaviest snowfall came between 9 p.m. Sun-day and 8 a.m. Monday. “Pulaski also escaped that heavier snow, which was more to northeast,” Shallenberger said. And although a glance outside on Sunday night would reveal quickly piling snowdrifts and covered roadways, Pulaski County 911, surprisingly, didn’t receive any weather-related calls Sunday evening and Monday morning. “We’re good to go,” said a pleasantly surprised Lisa Gilbert, 911 director. Pulaski County Public Safety Director Tiger Robinson also reported no overnight incidents. “We’re doing fairly well, I guess,” he said Monday afternoon. “There have not been any wrecks with injury.” Smith likewise only reported one weather-related incident overnight Sunday. Conditions on many roadways were hazardous in the early morning hours Monday, but many people elected to either stay home or venture out only after the roads had been cleared. A stray vehicle could be found here and there, abandoned in the quickly rising snow by their owners, but no major incidents were reported. Forecasters had said the snow showers and flurries would continue into early Monday evening. Officials are sill encouraging motorists to use extreme caution, especially into the overnight hours the next few days because melted snow can quickly re-freeze and form hazardous areas on the roadways. Shallenberger said the mid-December storm dropped snowfall totals more usual to after the beginning of the new year. “We’ve had quite a bit down there,” Shallenberger said. State, county and city road crews spent much of Sunday night and Monday salting and plowing the area’s roads. Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock said the county road department worked up until midnight Monday and resumed operations at 5 a.m. Monday. That means all 17 pieces of equipment used by the county were in use as of Monday afternoon. “They’ll get over a lot of the county,” Bullock said on Monday. Bullock said the county will start from one central location and spread outward, covering every roadway they hit as they move out. That may change if an emergency occurs somewhere the road department hasn’t reached yet, or if someone needs to get to town for a necessary medical appointment or service, such as dialysis. “Everything is running pretty smoothly,” Bullock said. He said crews were expected to work into Monday evening until temperatures bottom out — which means salt and other materials used to treat the roads will be rendered ineffective. Forecasts for Monday night called for a temperature of 10 degrees with a wind-chill near 0 degrees. Area schools canceled classes on Monday due to the storm, and as of Monday afternoon, several — including Pulaski County schools — had already canceled for Tuesday. And don’t expect much of a break between snows. Shallenberger said another storm is expected to sweep through the area by the middle of this week, dropping an expected 1 to 3 inches of snow. Temperatures are expected to increase to the mid-30s by this weekend.
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