High winds and heavy rain on Wednesday caused damage to trees, creeks and ditchlines to overflow making travel hazardous across much of the county. Late Wednesday, water was reported on the roadway at KY 1556 at Bobs Creek, U.S. 421 at Cranks and KY 160 at Lynch.
Conditions deteriorated throughout the day as rain, at times heavy, continued to fall.
“Kentucky State Police reported at approximately 6:30 a.m. Wednesday a tree had fallen across KY 522 at Totz,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Public Information Officer Jonathan Dobson, in Manchester. “Crews responded and the roadway was cleared by approximately 8 p.m.”
Dobson said it was reported the tree fell after strong winds blew through the area. He said there was also a report of a tree falling across KY 3001 at Lenarue, blocking the roadway for a period of time at approximately 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“We’ve had similar results across other counties across our district,” said Dobson. “Crews have been unstopping culverts on KY 38 in the Evarts area. The crews are trying to keep the ditchlines and culverts clear and flowing so we don’t have any washouts or things like that.”
Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill said he had reports of water ponding on the roadways on KY 72 in Catrons Creek and in Highsplint. He said this is usual for these areas when heavy rain occurs.
“We also had a small mud slide at approximately 2:30 p.m. on KY 179 at Slope Hollow near Louellen,” said McGill. “Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are on the scene clearing the roadway.”
McGill said straightline winds were predicted by the National Weather Service and possibly felt in parts of the county on Wednesday.
“Between 7 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Wednesday, 2 inches of rain had fallen in the county,” said McGill. “The rain is expected to move out Wednesday night.”
Dobson asked motorists to be aware of their surroundings when on the roadways especially this time of year when “you can have a warm morning with rain and then freezing temperatures at night.”
“Be aware of the conditions and if you don’t have to be out — stay at home during inclement weather such as ice and snow,” said Dobson.
According to the National Weather Service, there is a slight chance of snow, with a high of 39 degrees and a low of 19 degrees, expected for Thursday. Snow is likely for Friday and Saturday with a low on Friday night of 15 degrees.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com