A weather system that moved through western Kentucky on Wednesday and Thursday brought snow and ice to most of the state, making travel treacherous and altering the way school and businesses operate.
The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office reported no fatalities or injuries on the county’s roads during that time and only a handful of requests for assistance.
One of the notable calls came about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, when a pickup truck driven by Jennis Shelton of Eddyville was eastbound on U.S. 62 west of Princeton and lost control on the ice-covered road.
It went off the left side of the road, overturned several times and struck a tree, where it came to rest.
Shelton was checked by Emergency Medical Services and declined further treatment, leaving the scene on his own, according to Chief Deputy Chris Noel.
“We have worked a total of seven calls for service,” he told The Times Leader on Friday. “We had four (Friday) and three the day before. All of those were accidents that were not injury-related. We only worked two collisions; the rest were just calls for service where somebody ran off the road.
“…I was pleasantly surprised that we didn’t have any issues amount to anything. It seemed like if people did get out, they were very cautious, and if they didn’t have to (get out), they stayed at home.”
Noel said that while the main roads in Caldwell County were mostly clear on Friday, many of the side roads “are nothing but a solid sheet of ice.”
Noel encouraged people to check on their neighbors during this cold snap.
“If you know somebody that you’re concerned about because of the cold temperatures — whether it’s elderly or someone that may need some help — don’t hesitate to call our office or the dispatch center,” he said. “Let us go check these people out and make sure everything’s OK with them.”
Noel recommended people call 270-365-2041, the non-emergency number for the dispatch center. He also said people may call 911 if they have concerns.
“I always say, ‘If you question whether you should or should not call 911, dial 911,’ ” he said. “That’s what it’s for.”
Interim Superintendent Heath Cartwright said that students have had at-home instruction because of the hazards the winter storm brought to the county’s roads.
“Not only is there the issue of school, but we have to keep an eye on extracurricular activities as well,” he said. “We’ve had to make decisions over the past several days to do what we could to help ensure the safety if our students, their families and our staff.”
Cartwright said the school district is maintaining communication with students and families through the One Call communications system, and expects to continue using it during the predicted snow event coming on Monday.
“That’s a very effective way for us to get an announcement out to thousands of people in a relatively short period of time,” he said. “I also appreciate the way that local media has done what they can to get the word out about issues related to weather in addition to COVID.”
Students and parents should pay attention to their One Call announcements this week for up-to-the-minute information about school closings and rescheduling.