Gov. Beshear Updates Kentuckians on State’s Response to Winter Storms

Governor declared a state of emergency Sunday, activated price gouging laws

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 15, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on the state’s response to winter storms that have produced freezing temperatures, snow and icy road conditions throughout the commonwealth.

The Governor said a second round of light to moderate snow, mainly in Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky, is expected this afternoon through Tuesday morning, and temperatures are expected to stay dangerously low. During today’s briefing, the Governor was joined by state emergency response leaders: Adjutant General of Kentucky Maj. Gen. Haldane Lamberton; Secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Jim Gray; and interim director of Kentucky Emergency Management, Dustin Heiser.

“Conditions are still very treacherous, and we need Kentuckians to please stay off the roads, if possible,” Gov. Beshear said. “If you have to travel, check before you leave, and please take your time and slow down. And don’t forget to check in on your neighbors, loved ones and pets.”

Key Weather Updates

  • Additional rounds of light to moderate snow are expected across Kentucky this afternoon and tonight. Much of the snow accumulation will occur along and south of the Western Kentucky and Bluegrass Parkways. 
  • Road conditions across much of the state remain dangerous from the snow that fell early this morning. With air temperatures in the single digits, road conditions will continue to be treacherous, especially across the southern half of Kentucky this afternoon and tonight. 
  • Temperatures Tuesday night will drop into the 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit range with windchills of 0 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause frostbite in less than 30 minutes on exposed skin.
  • Warmer temperatures are expected on Wednesday, which will allow road crews to make substantial progress in clearing the roads. 
  • Utility companies are working to restore power to nearly 1,014 citizens.

Kentucky Emergency Management interim director Dustin Heiser shared safety tips and said, “If you must use space heaters, please follow safety guidelines. Keep them at least three feet away from flammable objects, and turn them off when you leave the room or go to sleep. And remember to ensure proper ventilation when using heating appliances to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Do not use generators, grills or other fuel-burning devices indoors.”

Secretary Jim Gray said, “Transportation crews have been working since yesterday to treat and plow the roads, and many have just wrapped up another round of road treatment. We will have a force of over 2,000 people, plus some 1,400 plow trucks to deploy around the commonwealth – both state trucks and private contractors.”

Sec. Gray said the state is aware of several lane closures on major highways. He urged Kentuckians to stay off the roadway, if possible, and said if you must travel, pack an emergency car kit and visit before you leave to view current traffic conditions and drive slowly.

Maj. Gen. Lamberton said, “The Kentucky National Guard is deploying personnel and equipment to armories located near travel corridors, and teams are on standby ready to support motorists who may find themselves stranded as well as local response teams.”

The Governor added that the Kentucky State Police and local response teams rescued four individuals from the Red River Gorge who had become stranded.

The Governor also said that Kentucky State Parks received notice of a missing person report at Cumberland Falls in Whitley County. Both Whitley and McCreary County emergency management officials are involved in the search for Walter Dewayne Dale, a 35-year-old male who has been reported missing from Corbin since Sunday, Jan. 14.

Sunday, the Governor issued a state of emergency declaration, which allowed for the activation of state resources to help protect Kentucky communities and families. The state’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to Level 4, which requires essential emergency management staff to report to the center in Frankfort. Other emergency support functions staff are on standby and ready for increased activation.

Yesterday, the Governor also activated the state’s price gouging laws to protect families from grossly overpriced goods and services. With the state of emergency in place, consumers in the commonwealth can report price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General. Under state law, price gougers can be held accountable.

The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, year-round, confidential crisis counseling and emotional support resource for survivors, responders and anyone in the U.S./territories struggling with distress or other mental health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster.

To view winter weather preparedness tips, visit


Editor’s note: To watch Gov. Beshear’s briefing, click here. Photos from the press conference can be found here. To view the latest National Weather Service slides, click here.