Countless stranded drivers had to undergo excruciatingly long hold-ups on Thursday as a winter storm clobbered drivers in Kentucky with up to 2 feet of snow and the baffled motorists had to manage gas tanks and food supplies.
The monstrous car jam stretched for around 26 miles, from north of Elizabethtown past Shepherdsville.
Kenny Thompson spent the night on I-65 in his auto with a few snacks he snatched for the road home to Louisville and used his smartphone to keep in touch with his family. Thompson declared people would go rapidly out of their autos to do their needs, even taking cover behind autos. While Thompson made the statements for an AP correspondent Thursday evening, a crisis worker informed him they would be moving soon.
After being stranded along the same interstate for 21 hours, Mike Gee had enough fuel in his truck for an additional 10 minutes of high temperature. The 53-year-old from Clarksville, Tennessee, was heading to Ohio with his wife for a weekend get-away.
National Guard staff and emergency workers were sent to the scene to make keep an eye on the baffled motorists. As his group of troopers gave out food and water along snowbound Interstate 24 in far western Kentucky, National Guard Spc. Jeriel Clark stated:
“You see miles and miles of tail ends and tail ends. It’s not a very good sight.”
By Thursday night, state highway authorities reported interstate roads in Kentucky were open. Snow plows continued to work as low temperatures threatened with icy roads. Gov. Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency, approving the National Guard to help with alleviation efforts. His office announced that drivers were being taken to nearby safe houses. During the peak of one traffic jam in western Kentucky, more than 400 vehicles were stuck along westward I-24 from Cadiz to Eddyville, Beshear reported.
Among the stranded on I-65 were the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s wife and different members from his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition staff. The gathering was headed to join Jackson in Selma, Alabama, for the the 50th celebration of the civil rights march drove by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
During the day, interstate authorities explained that when progress was made to clear the interstates, new jams would result in snares and more holds up for drivers. There were no reports of storm-related casualties power blackouts in the state, Beshear further reported.
The National Weather Service estimated 15 to 20 inches of snow fell over wide swaths of western and central Kentucky. A reported 25 inches fell close Radcliff in Hardin County, south of Louisville.
Twenty-three inches heaped up in parts of Ohio County in western Kentucky, as well. In the rest of the region, snowfall totaled 14.7 inches in Louisville, 17.1 inches in Lexington, 20.5 inches in Mount Washington, 19 inches in Bardstown, 18.5 inches in Frankfort and 21.5 inches in Cynthiana.
Image Source: WLKY