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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDKY) – Gov. Andy Beshear and other state officials gave an update on the state’s response to the winter storm:

During the news conference, Gov. Beshear said he has declared a state of emergency, which will help deploy additional resources to areas hit hard by the winter weather.

“This winter storm already is causing some very dangerous conditions across much of the state, with iced-over roadways and downed power lines putting our people at risk,” Beshear said. “This declaration will free up funding and boost coordination across agencies as we respond to this weather crisis and work to keep all Kentuckians safe.”

The State of Emergency directs the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) and the Department of Military Affairs to execute the Kentucky Emergency Operations Plan and coordinate the response across state agencies and private relief groups.

As of about 10 a.m. EST Thursday, KYEM was aware of about 70,500 Kentucky customers with power outages.

Multiple crashes and intermittent closures on interstates, parkways and major routes across the state have occurred since last night into this morning due to icy roads and downed trees and power lines.

Transportation crews aggressively treated roads throughout the night as breaks in the weather allowed. Widespread reports of downed trees and limbs have been reported, with the most impact in Central and Eastern Kentucky. The Kentucky Division of Forestry is helping with tree removal.

“Our crews worked overnight and are out in full force treating and plowing to maintain mobility along critical routes,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “The damaging effects of fallen debris and frigid temperatures create additional challenges and delays. It’s going to take days to recover from this event. We plead for the patience of the public and ask for their help by staying off the roads if possible.”

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, the westbound lanes of Interstate Highway 24 in Christian County were closed at mile marker 81. Kentuckians are encouraged to visit for travel information and links to follow social media pages for transportation updates.

Gov. Beshear also closed all state offices for Thursday.

Wednesday, Gov. Beshear said the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management activated its State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to monitor the storm system and coordinate with critical Emergency Support Function partners in transportation, law enforcement, power and utilities. The SEOC remains activated at Level 3.