LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentuckians said goodbye to temperatures in the 70s as sleet, snow and plummeting temperatures moved into the state Friday.
A wintry mix struck the western part of the state first and moved eastward by Friday afternoon as a line of snow storms spread across the eastern half of the U.S.
Several Kentucky counties issued snow emergencies as flakes began falling in their area. State transportation officials said snowplows would run through the night to clear the major roadways.
Western and central Kentucky were under winter storm warnings slated to last through late Friday or early Saturday. With warmer temperatures expected in eastern Kentucky, forecasters issued a flood watch into Saturday morning.
In northern Kentucky, Covington police closed the Ohio River Roebling Bridge in both directions Friday afternoon due to icy conditions.
Trees and lawns soaked by overnight rain in the Louisville area were covered in ice by Friday morning as temperatures hovered around freezing. By the early afternoon, snow was falling in Louisville, making roads slick as commuters began heading home for the weekend.
The cold sleet that reached the city around noon on Friday frustrated some lunchtime walkers in the downtown area.
"I think snow is better than this," said Rick Selby, who was walking on Fourth Street near a cluster of restaurants. "It's soaking my feet."
News outlets reported multiple spinouts and minor wrecks in the early evening commute. Louisville police advised motorists involved in non-injury accidents to refrain from calling officers to the scene.
Multiple Kentucky school districts called off classes, including the state's largest district in Louisville. High School athletic officials decided to move some of the state championship football games back a day, including moving Friday night's Class 6A final between Meade County and Scott County in Bowling Green to Saturday.
The University of Kentucky and University of Louisville canceled classes after 3 p.m. on Friday and sent students home.
Louisville salt trucks began treating about 2,700 miles of roads at 4 a.m. Friday morning and they planned to make another pass in the afternoon as the snow began to fall.
"Everyone's been on high alert this entire week," said Harold Adams, a spokesman for Metro Public Works. "We're ready for whatever comes."
Temperatures were expected to dip into single digits in some parts of the state by Friday night.
The National Weather Service said Louisville would remain on a winter storm warning through 1 a.m. Saturday, while Lexington and surrounding counties were under a winter weather advisory.