The first accumulating snow of the season is expected to fall in the Louisville region on Thursday, with local meteorologists predicting anywhere from 1-4 inches.
Because snow showers may not commence till midmorning, Jefferson County Public Schools likely will have to make the call on whether to cancel school before the first flakes fall.
“If the decision is made to cancel school in the morning, it’s going be with dry ground, and that’s going to confuse some people at the time,” JCPS Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. “We take the safety of our kids — just as every school district does — as the most important thing that we do.”
JCPS officials will consult with the National Weather Service Wednesday evening, and then again in the morning around 2:30 or 3 a.m.
“We want to always make the call if we can by 5 a.m.,” Raisor said. In addition, early dismissal is a possibility, though the district prefers to avoid that course of action.
School cancellation or early dismissal will be announced via the JCPS app, which is available through iTunes or Google Play; the One Call Now text alert system; the district’s Facebook and Twitter pages; and local media outlets.
The Archdiocese of Louisville, which oversees most of the city’s Catholic elementary and high schools, announces school cancellations and altered schedules via local media outlets.
In preparation for the possibility of snow, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet road crews began pretreating interstates and other main roadways in Louisville and surrounding counties Wednesday afternoon. Pretreatment using brine leaves a thin layer of salt that will activate when precipitation begins, combating ice buildup and making roads easier to plow.
According to the transportation cabinet, snow removal is based on a priority system tied to traffic levels and “critical needs served by each highway.” District 5 — which services Louisville and the surrounding region — is responsible for clearing more than 3,500 miles of state-maintained highways. More than 170 trucks are deployed to salt and plow roadways in a cluster of eight central Kentucky counties, with 72 of those trucks stationed in Jefferson County.
The Metro Department of Public Works is responsible for treating and clearing non-interstate roadways in Louisville.