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Kentucky gets snow, more to come

Tuesday's snow may be a preview of things to come by the end of the week in Kentucky.
A car nears the intersection of 4th Street and Broadway in downtown Paducah, Ky., as a snow falls, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/The Paducah Sun, John Wright)
A car nears the intersection of 4th Street and Broadway in downtown Paducah, Ky., as a snow falls, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/The Paducah Sun, John Wright)John Wright / The Paducah Sun
/ Source: The Associated Press

Tuesday's snow may be a preview of things to come by the end of the week in Kentucky.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Denman in Louisville said the dusting that fell across parts of Kentucky may be followed by as much as 4-8 inches of snow on Friday as a storm system developing across Texas moves into the South.

Tuesday's snow caused a spate of wrecks, including a fatal crash in Louisville, as the temperature dropped and roads became icy. Denman said the worst of the weather was over by midday, but people should prepare for more.

Denman said the heaviest snow is expected to fall across southern and southeastern Kentucky, while parts of Tennessee will get ice and freezing rain.

Forecasts call for 4-8 inches of snow along the Kentucky-Tennessee border, with 2-4 inches in the counties south of Louisville, and two inches or less along Interstate 64.

"It could be a very sharp cutoff along the northern edge," Denman said.

Should the forecast hold up, it would mark the second snowfall in Kentucky within a week. Light snow in north central Kentucky, even without a large accumulation, caused multiple wrecks on Tuesday. The bulk of the snowfall ended by midday, leaving cold winds and icy roads in its wake.

Slick spots caused dozens of vehicles to slide off the road or spin out. Several school districts around the state, including Meade County, Owen County and Shelby County, closed on Tuesday because of the weather.

Road crews were mobilized, mainly in central and north central Kentucky, said Transportation Cabinet spokesman Mark Brown. Crews began treating roads Monday night in the districts surrounding Louisville, Covington, Somerset and Flemingsburg, Brown said.

Crews in western Kentucky were called out at 4:30 a.m. to respond to the "surprise" snowfall, said Keith Todd, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation. A crash on KY 2155 Ohio River Bridge at Owensboro briefly shut down traffic, he said.

The winter weather caused a fatal wreck in Louisville and another in western Kentucky.

Louisville police spokesman Dwight Mitchell said a passenger in a van died just after 10 a.m. when the van lost control after hitting black ice near downtown Louisville, was struck by another car, then struck the pillars of a railroad overpass.

Mitchell said five other people in the van, as well as the driver of the other car were being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Neither speed nor alcohol appear to be factors in the wreck, Mitchell said.

"It's just unfortunate due to the ice," Mitchell said.

The Daviess County Sheriff's Office said 29-year-old Orlando Neyra of Owensboro died when he lost control of his car outside of Owensboro, crossed the center line and was hit broadside by an oncoming car.

Neyra died at Owensboro Medical Health Systems. The driver of the other car, 46-year-old Rebecca Conder of Whitesville, was in stable condition at the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

In Louisville, Jefferson County Public Schools spokesman Ben Jackey said the school system opted to let the buses roll because forecasts didn't call for below-freezing temperatures, which made the roads icy and slick. Administrators realized too late that the roads were icy, Jackey said.

"Once we realized it was going to freeze, we (already) had kids at the bus stops," Jackey said.

He said 10 buses were involved in crashes, but only one had students on board. In that wreck, on the Gene Snyder Expressway, four students complained of neck and back injuries. School system spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said all the injuries appeared to be minor.

Chad Carlton, a spokesman for Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, said the city put salt down on the streets, but it didn't stick because there was no snow to hold it down as vehicles drove along the road.

The hazardous conditions worsened when temperatures started to fall, causing flash freezing and black ice, Carlton said.

"It's just very difficult weather conditions to deal with," Carlton said. "People have to go slow and use common sense."

Lexington police reported four accidents with injuries and 29 without by 9:30 a.m. Police called in additional officers and put all officers in training on the streets.

"We really appreciated their help," Police Lt. Doug Pape said. "When streets get slick we have a lot of calls in a short time period. It's was great to have some backup."