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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Classes were canceled Tuesday in Jefferson County and surrounding areas after a blanket of snow fell during the early morning hours.
JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey confirmed the decision to close schools around 5 a.m., about an hour before heavy snow began falling in metro Louisville. He said the decision was based on the forecast rather than actual road conditions at the time.
"Unfortunately, as you guys know, every decision we've had to make with the exception of one has been under the condition that we call a 'dry call,' where the roads really haven't started to get that bad, but we're trying to make a decision based on the forecast. We can see that the roads are starting to get a little bit worse, especially the back roads...
"It's difficult, because we seemingly have had the same situation every time where we're making the decision based on the forecast rather than what's actually on the road."
Jackey says there have already been five snow days this year, and that this latest snow day will extend the school year until June 6.
"Certainly when the Board approved the calendar a year or so ago, we were hoping we wouldn't be into June," Jackey said, "but unfortunately Mother Nature has not cooperated, so right now we're looking at the first week of June when we'll be finishing up."
Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said the fact that the heavy snow fell during the peak of the rush hour posed a "host of challenges" for road crews.
Wingfield said traffic was moving slowly but noted that "was a good thing. We want people to take it slow this morning to get to their destination safely. With the peak of the storm being during the rush hour, our plows are effective at moving snow off the roads, but not necessarily other cars. So we're encouraging drivers to keep the way open so they can do their jobs. It takes them about two-and-a-half hours to three hours to complete each of their routes, and in order for them to do that in a timely manner they need to get through."
As of 9 a.m., officials with the Kentucky Transportation Department, reported the following road conditions in Kentucky:
Bullitt – heavy snow with 0.75 inches of accumulation, 20 degrees, mostly covered roads
Franklin – heavy snow with 1.25 inches of accumulation, 31 degrees, partly covered roads
Henry – snow with 3.75 inches of accumulation, 18 degrees, mostly covered roads
Jefferson – moderate snow with 2 inches of accumulation, 20 degrees, partly covered roads
Oldham – heavy snow with 4 inches of accumulation, 20 degrees, mostly covered roads
Shelby – moderate snow with 2 inches of accumulation, 27 degrees, mostly covered roads
Spencer – heavy snow with 2 inches of accumulation, 28 degrees, mostly covered roads
Trimble – heavy snow with 4.5 inches of accumulation, 17 degrees, completely covered roads
Temperatures are expected to drop sharply between 9 a.m. and noon, with lows in the teens and wind gusts between 30 to 35 mph.
Officials in Grant County, Kentucky have declared a Level Two Snow Emergency for all roads in Grant County, saying roads are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and roadways may be icy. Only drivers whose travel is necessary should be on the roads, and residents are urged to contact their employer to see if they must report to work.
Reminder: during snow emergencies, vehicles may not be parked on any public road right of way.
Viewers from across Kentuckiana have been sharing their snow pictures. Email or text your snow photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or upload them on our Facebook page or through our mobile weather app.