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Drivers slip, slide through cold, wet, icy weather

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By Kelly Cantrall

The first day of winter isn’t until Dec. 21, but this weekend’s snow and ice didn’t wait for a date on the calendar.

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Wintry weather wreaked havoc on holiday activities and motorists traveling home Friday as events were canceled and numerous drivers slid off roads and into each other.

Kentucky State Police worked almost 60 traffic-related incidents Friday night as freezing rain and snow fell across Hardin County, KSP spokesman Jeff Gregory said. Troopers responded to 43 non-injury wrecks and two crashes that did cause injuries, and they assisted 13 drivers whose vehicles left the road.

Most of the wrecks happened on I-65 and the parkways, Gregory said.

“(Troopers) said I-65 was a skating rink,” he said.

When inclement weather is forecasted, Gregory said KSP officials move staff around by pulling troopers from counties with no major roadways into Hardin County, as I-65 generally is where the most collisions occur.

The weather didn’t cause any road closures, he said.

Elizabethtown Police Department also had its share of activity Friday. Officers responded to 12 wrecks and assisted numerous motorists, EPD spokesman Virgil Willoughby said. Because of the timing of the precipitation, which became heavy around the time area residents were leaving work, he was expecting a higher number of incidents, he said.

“I really thought it was going to be pretty bad, so we’re very fortunate,” he said.

Radcliff Police Department had a relatively calm night with just one weather-related crash, RPD spokesman Bryce Shumate said.

“We were very blessed and I hope that continues,” he said.

Mark Adams with the National Weather Service at Fort Knox said warm temperatures earlier in the week prevented roadways from freezing earlier in the day.

“The ground was warm,” Adams said. “That really saved us.”

On Friday afternoon, Adams said the weekend looked to bring about a quarter-inch of precipitation, but the forecast would continue to change.

The beginning of the week is expected to bring very low temperatures.

“The freezer door is going to open up north,” he said.

Adamssaid this type of weather is more common in January than in December.

Weekend activities including portions of A Dickens of a Christmas in Vine Grove, Christmas at the Cabins in Radcliff and a Christmas parade in Glendale were canceled because of the weather.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.