With forecasts for sleet and heavy snow beginning this afternoon and continuing into the evening, Mayor Jim Gray urged residents to prepare.
“Get ready. It’s coming. Again. Today we can all follow the motto of our Division of Emergency Management: Be Prepared. Have a Plan,” Gray said. “This is not about encouraging anxiety and stress. We are here to urge caution, be alert, aware, and do what Lexington citizens do best…care for one another. And I would add, check on your neighbors. Help your neighbors who can’t shovel their sidewalks or driveways.”
Gray urged citizens to stay off the roads this evening, if possible. “Driving could be very dangerous tonight because of the sleet we expect before the snow. If you can stay off the roads tonight, please do,” he said.
“Now let’s talk about cars parked on the streets that get in the way of snow removal equipment,” Gray said. “As we learned from the last storm, your vehicle can get blocked in for several days because of the plows and the windrows they cause.”
Anyone who needs a place to park to get their vehicle off the street may use the Rupp Arena lot, off Oliver Lewis Way. There will be no charge. Vehicles will need to be moved by Saturday morning. Lexington Police will patrol the lot to ensure safety.
Streets and Roads
Streets crews have already started working 12-hour shifts. “Our personnel have been checking catch basins and storm drains to prevent flooding on roadways. We can’t pre-treat today because of the rain,” said Streets & Roads Director Albert Miller. “Once the rain changes over to sleet and snow, crews will shift their focus to treating priority routes, bridges and overpasses.”
Altogether we will have about 100 people from Streets and Roads, Parks and Water Quality out working on our streets. Private contractors have been notified and are on standby.
The City has approximately 4,100 tons of salt on hand and can order additional supplies, if needed.
The ground is saturated and the storm may cause flooding on the roads. Citizens are encouraged not to walk through or drive through flood water.
Emergency Operations Center
Beginning at 6 tonight, the city’s Emergency Operations Center will open to monitor the storm and for communications. The public can track updates via the Division of Emergency Management’s Twitter account @LexKYEM and Facebook page www.facebook.com/LexingtonKYEM.
Citizens with emergencies should continue to call 9-1-1. For non-emergency assistance call Police at 258-3600.
For media only, the EOC can be reached at 425-2530 and is located at 1793 Old Frankfort Pike.
Homelessness Prevention & Intervention
The Office of Homelessness Prevention & Intervention’s Winter Weather Plan has been activated through Friday, March 6, in response to forecasts projecting significant ice and snow, along with falling temperatures over the next 48 hours. Anyone in need of help locating appropriate shelter should dial 2-1-1. The plan is available online at the city’s website.
Kentucky Utilities is also monitoring the weather and its movement and is prepared to respond to outage issues.
“And we will continue to monitor our system as the temperatures drop Thursday night into Friday morning, and also respond quickly to any outages that come as a result of the extreme cold,” said Cliff Feltham, Statewide Media Relations Manager.
Police urge drivers to be cautious, to increase stopping and following distances and slow down.