LOUISVILLE (AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin has declared a statewide emergency from a winter storm that hit parts of Kentucky with a combination of ice and heavy snow.
Bevin said Friday that the emergency declaration provides local officials with immediate access to state resources in dealing with the storm.
The governor is urging people to stay off the roads as authorities deal with a multitude of wrecks on slick roads.
Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Emergency Management, says the state has endured the worst part of the snow. He says the storm is expected to move out of the region Friday evening.
Dossett reports sporadic power outages in the state.
Portions of eastern Kentucky have received a foot or more of snow from a winter storm that’s causing treacherous driving conditions.
The National Weather Service said Friday that Lee County had received 13 inches of snow, while a foot has fallen in Rockcastle County.
Forecasters say parts of east-central Kentucky could eventually be covered in up to 18 inches of snow.
Elsewhere, the weather service says about 9 inches of snow has fallen in the Bowling Green area, with 7 inches in Nicholasville and Campbellsville.
Reports of 4 to 5 inches of snow are common in western Kentucky. The weather service says Henderson has received 6 inches and two communities in far western Kentucky — Kevil and Draffenville — had 7 inches each.
The National Weather Service in Kentucky predicts the storm hovering over the mountains will leave the deepest snow accumulations in some 20 years.
Tony Edwards, a meteorologist in Jackson, said six inches piled up in some mountainous counties in just two hours Friday morning. He said it will keep falling for 24 to 36 hours, leaving two feet of snow in some counties. The road to his office was already impassible Friday morning, and he expects to be stranded through the weekend.
Ron Steve, a meteorologist in Louisville, said a quarter-inch of ice already coated parts of central Kentucky, though the ice storm turned to snow before reaching treacherous levels.
A wide swath of the state between Campbellsville and Lexington could also see two feet of snow, leaving “travel impossible at times.”