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Update 4:08 p.m.: State Highways and Interstates

On Kentucky interstates in and around Louisville on Thursday afternoon, motorists found roadways partly covered, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Motorists found mostly or completely covered state highways.

Also, state crews planned to keep working on their roads, but the dipping temperature Thursday night into Friday morning will make the salt ineffective, a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman said in a news release. She urged motorists to be cautious when driving on roads with slush or snow.

Some areas of the state are dealing with serious traffic issues. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet notes:

Traffic conditions on southbound I-65 continue to be extremely slow due to motorists being stalled on the hills below Lebanon Junction (Exit 105). A small caravan of a grader and two salt trucks from District 5 are making their way down the interstate trying to clear one lane between Clermont (Exit 112) and Elizabethtown (Exit 94). It is a slow process and they are currently at mile point 101. They just met up with a caravan from District 4 in Elizabethtown that is coming north in the southbound lanes to clear I-65.

Law enforcement have closed the exit from southbound I-65 to Lebanon Junction (Exit 105) due to snow covered ramps and several wrecks in the area. In addition, law enforcement is prohibiting the detour from Clermont (Exit 112) to KY 245 and onto KY 61 south due to backed up traffic and crashes on KY 61 near Boston.

Motorists in Western Kentucky are dealing with some major issues too.

Update 2:54 p.m.: U of L Closed

The University of Louisville will be closed again on Friday.

Update 2 p.m.: Governor: Help Road Crews

To help state crews cleaning up roads, Gov. Steve Beshear is asking motorists to stay off highways for now. Here’s more from WFPL’s Ryland Barton.

Update 12:03 p.m.: Getting Help

Mayor Greg Fischer is asking residents to help each other out. He said people who need non-emergency medical help may find it by calling the 211 Help Line. Also, the city is urging residents willing to volunteer to connect with people in need of assistance using the Twitter hashtag #LouSnowHelp.

Update 11:40 a.m.: School Closings

And now for the school closings.

Jefferson County Public Schools will be closed Friday.

Also closed:

  • Jefferson County Catholic Schools
  • Bullitt County Public Schools
  • Oldham County Schools
Update 11:21 a.m.: City’s Status

Mayor Greg Fischer said he expects Public Works crews to make good progress on clearing Louisville roads now that the snow has stopped falling.

The mayor spoke Thursday morning during a news conference. Crews salted roads twice before morning, but they weren’t able to treat roads before the snow started falling because of the rain, Fischer said.

Those crews were focusing on snow emergency routes first, and Fischer urged people to move their vehicles from those roadways. (Here’s the list.)

He also urged residents to shovel sidewalks on their properties. (Here’s a recent story from WFPL’s Ashley Lopez about shoveling and the city.)

The temperature is expected to drop to the single digits on Friday morning, Fischer said. But temperatures will increase this weekend, melting the snow–and potentially leading to the crest of the Ohio River on Monday morning, Fischer said. The Metropolitan Sewer District is prepared to have nine of 10 pumping stations running, he said.

Update 9:50 a.m.: State of Emergency

Kentucky is under a state of emergency because of the big snowstorm. Gov. Steve Beshear made the call Thursday morning. He said:

He also noted via Twitter that the state of emergency allows him to send out the National Guard “without delay.”

Update 9:20 a.m.: Roads Snow-Covered

In its latest update, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said all interstates and state highways on the Kentucky side of the Louisville area are snow-covered. Here’s more:

All of the lane markings are obscured and it is difficult to tell where the pavement ends. Crews plowed throughout the night and then put down a coat of salt at 6:00 a.m. Roads continued to get covered by snow that fell at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour. With the snow tapering off this morning, crews will soon be able to make some progress but it will take several hours.

On Interstate 65 near Lebanon Junction, tractor-trailers can’t get up a hill, bringing traffic to a standstill, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Crews are working to clear that up, but it will take a while. Further south on I-65 in Elizabethtown, the National Guard has been called in to help stranded motorists, WDRB reports. Also, the General Assembly won’t be in session Thursday because of the snow, WFPL’s Ryland Barton reports. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will update on the city’s situation at 10:30 a.m. Earlier: Some parts of the Louisville area will have a foot of snow or more before the snowstorm exits the region Thursday morning, the National Weather Service said. Here are the estimates:

FileNational Weather Service

Several Louisville area school systems called off school for Thursday before the snow really started falling, including Jefferson County Public Schools. Others to announce closings since then include Oldham County School and Greater Clark Schools. Also closed Thursday: the University of Louisville, Indiana University Southeast, Jefferson Community & Technical College and Bellarmine University. In an early morning update, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said interstates were snow-covered.  The cabinet urged motorists to stay off the roads, and to go slowly and cautiously if they must drive. And, two hours ago, Louisville Metro crews said: