- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - First came the snow, and then came the frigid temperatures.

A blast of Arctic air moved into Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, dropping temperatures into the single digits in some areas with the much of the state not seeing an above-freezing mark on the thermometer until the weekend.

Temperatures in Louisville on Wednesday morning were hanging around 6 degrees. In Jackson in the eastern part of the state, the mercury had climb to 3 degrees by midmorning while Paducah on the western end of the state climbed to 17 degrees.

Forecasters predicted more of the same for Thursday, with a wind chill advisory for much of the western part of Kentucky. The National Weather Service predicted wind chills of between minus-5 and minus-15 into Thursday morning - temperatures than can cause frostbite on exposed skin in 30 minutes or less.

The frigid temperatures come just two weeks after Kentucky braved a post-holiday freeze when temperatures fell to near zero or below, icing roads and causing schools to call off classes for several days.

School districts in Frankfort and Lexington shut down Wednesday because of the weather while Jefferson County Public Schools were working on a delayed schedule. District spokesman Ben Jackey said because of the multiple days lost to cold weather, the last day for students in Louisville has been bumped up to June 6.

Catlettsburg city officials say crews have had multiple issues with water main breaks since the first cold snap.

The cold weather has the state’s two largest utilities warning customer about how to handle emergencies.

Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities said while power outages usually don’t require backup power sources, some people do use portable generators in emergencies, but they must be operated safely.

Company officials cautioned customers to make sure the generator is the right size and checked by a licensed electrician to ensure it is properly installed. The wires also must be isolated from the utilities’ electric system.

Officials also warned residents against using a gas oven to heat a home because of the threat of deadly carbon monoxide gas.

The utilities have also asked customers to report any power lines brought down by icy branches.

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