Winter weather hits Harlan

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Harlan County saw the area’s first sizable snowfall of the year on Thursday and Friday, with several inches of snow falling across the region.

While a small amount of snow had fallen just a few days prior, this was the county’s first snowfall resulting in much accumulation with estimates of approximately 5 inches in the Harlan area and up to approximately 8 inches in the Tri Cities.

Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill talked about the first significant snow event of the year in a telephone interview on Friday.

McGill noted Harlan County did not experience any major consequences due to the snow and cold temperatures.

“The roads being icy was the biggest thing,” McGill said. “We had one single vehicle automobile crash where the Harlan County Rescue Squad was called out, and we had a couple of power outages.”

He added there were a few additional minor vehicle incidents related to the weather.

“We had several where somebody had slid off the roadway, but didn’t require a police report or assistance from the rescue squad or anything like that,” McGill said.

McGill pointed out there may have been additional vehicle incidents that did not involve Harlan County Emergency Management.

While there was a power outage in the county, it was quickly resolved.

“We had one power outage earlier in the day,” McGill said. “It was resolved pretty early on, by 6 p.m. in the evening.”

Christ’s Hands was open for those in need of shelter, and the Harlan County Courthouse was ready to open if necessary, as a warming center for individuals caught out in the cold.

“We did have the shelter, and also the warming center on standby,” McGill said.

McGill mentioned while the courthouse was ready and available to be used as a warming center, it was not needed.

The winter weather did not end with the snow. Following a warmer, rainy day on Sunday the temperatures plunged below freezing Sunday night, resulting in hazardous roadways again on Monday with schools once again calling off classes for the third day.