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Wild, wintry weather closes schools, snaps lines, endangers salt supply

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By Linda Ireland

 About 900 LaRue Countians were without electricity at the height of last week’s ice storm.

The hardest hit area was Mount Sherman where several hundred people lost power due to snapped tree limbs and downed lines, said Vince Heuser, Nolin RECC’s vice president for systems operations.

Roanoke, Shepherdsville Road, Cissal Hill, Salem Church Road and Trumbo Road also had outages.

Nolin crews worked around the clock to restore electricity to those areas, said Heuser. 

Road crews stayed busy spreading ice on roadways but motorists were still involved in numerous fender benders and slide-offs. The National Weather Service issued travelers advisories for icy and snow covered roads Wednesday and Thursday.

Temperatures continued to hover below freezing, even dipping into single digits at night.

LaRue County Schools were closed three days – again on Monday – and operated under one-hour delay on Wednesday.  Students returned to class Tuesday but more snow is predicted for the weekend.

The school board will address how those days will be made up at its next meeting.

Chris Jessie, public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said salt supplies for roadway are being used wisely.

“We are receiving already purchased stock from our reserve supply out of Louisville and we have been purchasing new stock all along, so we are seeing new supply trickle in,” he said. “All that being said, it is becoming more difficult to get new orders as demand skyrockets and reserves (used statewide) decrease rapidly.”

However, if wintry weather continues, the condition could become critical.

“Should supplies become lower, one of our conserving measures is to salt only higher volume main routes.  We want area motorists to realize this potential conservation action before it happens.”

Limb disposal

The county is providing a drop-off site for downed trees, limbs and brush from the ice storm.

“We will be accepting it at the fairgrounds where we had the drop-off during the last ice storm,” said LaRue County Judge/executive Tommy Turner. “Of course, this storm is minor compared to the one in ’09 but we still had a considerable number of trees that were damaged as a result of the ice. People can just back up to the pile and drop the limbs and brush off.”

The disposal site is for wood debris only. No trash, tires, construction or building materials will be accepted.

When the weather clears, county workers will dispose of the brush with a wood chipper.