HAZARD — Several weather stations predicted the winter snow to hit eastern Kentucky around 2 p.m. on Thursday, but mother nature had other plans for the region. The snow hit much earlier than anticipated, causing absolute chaos in Perry County.
Multiple wrecks were reported, including a fatal accident in Breathitt County. Several motorists were stranded for several hours on both Hwy. 15 and Hwy. 80. Several of the wrecks involved had motor vehicles being flipped on their sides and tops.
No fatalities were reported in Perry County, but at least one fatality was reported in Lost Creek, on the Breathitt County side.
Daniel Noble, 56, of Lost Creek died in a single-vehicle crash on Thursday. Kentucky State Police (KSP) responded to the accident on Hwy. 476 in Clayhole. The Breathitt County Coroner pronounced Noble deceased at the scene. KSP say Noble was driving a pickup truck when the truck slid off the road and collided with a tree. KSP says the snow played a major factor in the crash. Noble was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, KSP said.
Despite the Perry County schools dismissing early, several buses were stranded on snow-covered roads in Perry County.
School buses were stranded in Buckhorn and Happy.
A couple of buses had to stop during their route because of the rough road conditions. Parents were informed that they had to pick up their children from the buses. All children were accounted for during the unloading process.
For a more detailed story and Perry County School System’s response, please read Sam Neace’s article “Snow strands school buses” in The Hazard Herald or online at www.hazard-herald.com.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 10 were out in full force Thursday, but despite their best attempts Hazard Police Department had to shut down Hwy. 15 because of stranded motorists and terrible road conditions. The road would open back up several hours later, but HPD advised motorists to proceed with caution.
More snow moved into the region Thursday night. This caused both ice and snow to cover most of the roads. The road crews were again out in force, doing their best to keep the roads clear.
With warm weather anticipated for this week, residents of Perry County can put the snow behind them… for now.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald. He can be reached at 606-629-3245.