Winter weather hits Harlan

Published 2:42 pm Monday, January 15, 2024

Harlan County has seen its share of winter storms over the years, complete with large amounts of wind, snow and frigid temperatures. This year seems to be no different, with severe wind, rain, snow and plummeting temperatures already hitting the area.

Last week, uncommonly high winds blew rain across the county, resulting in multiple downed trees and a well-known restaurant’s sign being destroyed. Monday morning saw Harlan Countians waking up to below-freezing temperatures and snow covering the roads and ground.

According to a news release, Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency in Kentucky on Sunday because of the winter storms.

“We continue to ask Kentuckians to stay weather-aware as snow accumulation and below-freezing temperatures continue to sweep through the commonwealth,” Beshear said. “Please check before you travel, and check in on your neighbors, loved ones and pets.”

Winter storms continue to generate high winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms, severe temperature decreases and the potential for ice and snow throughout much of the state.

The release states the storms could cause disruption to utilities and have an impact on road conditions as well as private property. The state of emergency declaration allows for the activation of state resources, including Kentucky Emergency Management, to help protect Kentucky communities and families. The state’s Emergency Operations Center is preparing to activate to Level 4.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley addressed the weather conditions on Monday morning via his social media outlets.

“The Winter Storm has arrived,” reads Mosley’s statement on social media. “A couple of inches have already fallen overnight into this morning. Additional waves of snow are expected throughout the day. Roads are slick this morning. Bridges are really slick! If you must travel, please use caution.”

Mosley stated the county’s roads are a priority.

“Harlan County Road Department crews will be clearing and treating the 1,500 side roads under our maintenance throughout the day,” Mosley wrote. “It is likely that treated roads, re-cover with snow at times due to the waves of snow still expected throughout the day.”

As of this writing, the forecast for the rest of the week from the National Weather Service includes low temperatures in the single digits with high temperatures remaining below freezing.