City street crews have started 24-hour shifts that will continue as long as they are needed during this weekend’s snow and cold.
Today, crews will take care of any early icing or weather-related problems. Unfortunately, rain has made the pre-treatment of roadways ineffective.
The night crew will report at eight tonight. They will address the transition from rain to snow, expected between 9 and 10 p.m.
The rock salt used by crews to treat the roads loses its effectiveness when temperatures drop to the levels that are forecast. The city uses “Beet Heat” on the roads, an additive that lowers the effective temperature of the salt, but it works slowly. The salt will provide traction.
As sub-zero weather heads toward Lexington, the city is prepared to protect people who could be in the most danger – those who may usually sleep outside, Mayor Linda Gorton said today.
“This weather is dangerous for everyone, and anyone who can stay home through the weekend,” Gorton said. “It is particularly dangerous for those who often sleep outdoors.”
Street Outreach is a key part of the city’s plan. “We don’t wait for people to come to us; we go to them,” Gorton said. In addition to monitoring by partner agencies that serve people who are homeless, Lexington Police will patrol areas regularly associated with the homeless population, including parks, bus stops, or business doorways. Police will also monitor the interstate and New Circle Road.
Street Outreach can be reached at 859-576-4194 or 859-556-1870. Or people can call the Police non-emergency number at 859-258-3600 to report someone who may need help.
The city and partner agencies have already planned for additional beds at shelters. “We think we have adequate space for everyone, but if not, the city backs up shelters with emergency hotel rooms, when needed,” said Charlie Lanter, Commissioner of Housing Advocacy and Community Development.