UPDATED: Local police, fire officials strongly encourage citizens to stay off roadways
Icy road conditions across the area has prompted police agencies to strongly encourage motorists to stay off the roadways until the situation improves.
"Motorists are urged to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary, as freezing rain is coating routes with an icy glaze. Law enforcement agencies are reporting many accidents," said Jonathan Dobson, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in an official release. "Those who must travel are advised to use extreme caution and allow extra time to reach their destinations. Crews will work to clear state routes so long as the threat remains for hazardous driving conditions."
Bruce Rains, Assistant Police Chief with the Corbin Police Department, said his agency is advising people to stay off roadways in the city.
"It's not safe to go out to your car, let alone drive it right now," Rains said, noting reports of numerous slips and falls around town, including one elderly woman injured this morning.
"If the police are having trouble getting around in this, that should tell you something."
On his official Facebook page, Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said most county roads are in "bad condition," and noted that Hwy. 25 is coverd by slush "making it very dangerous."
"With the current temperatures across the county, roadways could re-freeze, and the forecast shows another potential round of frozen precipitation coming our way between now and around 7:00 p.m."
Whitley County Second District Constable Ron Bowling reports that I-75 northbound is shut down with traffic backing up to the 28-mile marker due to accidents and inability of vehicles and trucks to navigate the ice.
Bowling advised citizens to "STAY HOME" if at all possible.
The Goldbug Fire Department made a similar admonition via Facebook.
"Stay off the roadways unless you absolutely have to be out and about."
All local school districts are closed for the day. And in a rare move, all classes and administrative at the University of the Cumberlands are cancelled and closed for the day due to weather.
Laurel County Sheriff John Root has declared a state of emergency and is strongly urging all citizens to stay off the roadways, and said police are currently attempting to answer more emergency calls than they can handle.
In other reports, I-75 is currently closed in both directions at the 70 mile marker in Rockcastle County due to numerous crashes.
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