Tribune-Courier General Manager
With the arrival of March, the weather concern is normally about the beginning of spring storms. This year, however, the winter storm season seems determined to hang on for at least a little bit longer.
Those looking forward to the beginning of spring when the calendar turned to March, were instead greeted with a little bit of everything winter on Sunday.
The day started with rumblings of thunder as a cold rain began to blanket the region. By early Sunday afternoon the rain had changed to a mixture of freezing rain and sleet leaving roadways and outdoor surfaces covered in a glaze of ice. The mesonet weather station in Draffenville recorded 2.38 inches of precipitation on Sunday, most of it coming in the form of sleet. In Monday’s early morning hours, snow began to blanket the county, leaving travel nearly impossible.
The Marshall County Highway Department, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and local law enforcement officials urged motorists to stay home and most heeded the warnings.
Most state and government offices in Marshall County closed on Monday, as well as many restaurants, banks and retail businesses.
Many of those who did venture out ended up in ditches. Law enforcement agencies across the area were busy answering calls of stranded motorists well into the mid-morning hours Monday on the Purchase Parkway and U.S. Hwy. 641 South between Benton and Murray.
On Sunday afternoon a motorist slid into Lacey’s Event Center on Main Street. There were no injuries in the incident, but damage to the building, including broken glass, was reported. Benton Fire Chief Harry Green said the driver of the vehicle lost control of his vehicle and slid into the building as road conditions were just starting to deteriorate.
A jackknifed semi closed a portion of Interstate 24 on Sunday. Eastbound lanes were blocked for more than an hour as crew worked to upright the truck near the Cumberland River bridge.
Frigid temperatures are expected to keep the precipitation on the ground through midweek. The National Weather Service in Paducah is predicting a high only near the freezing mark on Tuesday.
As the week continues, temperatures will gradually work their way out of the 30s.
The average temperatures for this time of year are typically around 50 degrees for highs and 30 degrees for lows.