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A chaotic commute: What local road crews say happened after Wednesday's first winter event

There were long back ups, multiple accidents and road detours Wednesday morning following the first snow of the season. Here's what happened.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The roads may be clear now, but early Wednesday morning it was a chaotic commute for Kentuckiana drivers.

"I saw some cars that looked like they had slid off the road. Several," Amanda Kincaid told WHAS11. She said her normal commute is normally 50 minutes, but on Wednesday, it was over an hour.

Vehicles were backed up for miles on the highway due to multiple car accidents.

Metrosafe reported about 19 car-related accidents, and in Southern Indiana there were more than 30 incidents.

Salvador Melendez said Public Works' Roads and Operations night shift crews were out late Tuesday night monitoring elevated roadways, focusing on bridges and overpasses, which he said were more likely to freeze first during winter weather events.

"They applied salt to some roadways as needed, as a precaution," he said. "They did not encounter any issues, and we have not received any reports of any issues on Metro-maintained roadways."

RELATED: Road crews on 'high alert' to keep Kentuckians safe on the road this winter

WHAS11 News also reached out to KYTC District-5 and they said Jefferson County crews began mobilizing at 2:30 a.m. 

But Jim Hannah, KYTC District Five's information officer said traffic conditions hampered their ability to quickly treat the trouble spots .

"Based on the information provided to us by the weather professionals on Tuesday evening, we planned on dispatching crews at 12 a.m. today in Trimble County to monitor road conditions and at 4 a.m. in Oldham and Henry counties to check roads before rush hour," Hannah said.

For commuters like Kincaid, she said what happened Wednesday was a "wake up call" for many as we head into the winter season.

She cautioned other drivers that, in the future, when winter weather hits to remain calm and slow down.

"Just remain calm and not panic, use good common sense and take the extra time and space, and don't go 70mph," she said.

RELATED: Louisville Mayor outlines city's plans for winter season

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