Snow: number three will be here tonight

“The Old Farmer’s Almanac” this year predicted “more than a fair share of cold and flaky weather in January,” and by all indications, the forecast is right on target, Mayor Linda Gorton said today.

“We’re heading into our third snow in 13 days,” Gorton said. “We have plenty of salt, and our first responders, street crews and contractors are ready to go. We’re ready for round three!”

With snow in the forecast later tonight, we’re encouraging citizens to stay off the roads if possible, Gorton said. “As always, please help your neighbors – especially the elderly, and protect your pets from the bitter cold.”

Gorton called together representatives of city departments to discuss their weather plans:

With anticipated snowfall of less than 2 inches this evening, Streets and Roads have transitioned back to winter weather operations. Roads will be monitored throughout the day today. Precipitation will likely start freezing in places just before daybreak, leading to a risk of black ice in isolated areas. At 8 p.m., the full night shift will report and begin treating for anti-icing on ranked roads. City contractor Red River Ranch will be providing four drivers and plows tonight, and four plows for the day shift on Thursday.

Salt and chemical supply remains good. A resupply of salt has been ordered, and delivery is scheduled to begin on Thursday. Volunteers from other government divisions will again assist Streets and Roads.

The Lexington Police Department Traffic Section is prepared to make adjustments Wednesday night and Thursday, as needed. Specialty vehicles have been prepped, and traffic control equipment, including message boards, are ready. Officers will monitor the interstates to assist motorists with collisions and other traffic hazards. Residents can find road updates on Twitter by following @lexwrecks.

Police remind motorists to give themselves plenty of time to get to their destinations, increase the distance between yourself and other vehicles, and put your vehicle in a lower gear to get better traction. Also, in case of an emergency, try to have a full tank of gasoline, water, snacks, and other items to help you stay warm in your vehicle.

The Fire Department is fully staffed and works closely with all City divisions to meet the challenges of inclement weather. There are 144 line personnel on duty today for immediate response to emergencies, as well as the full complement of administrative and support staff.

The Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention has activated its Community Winter Weather Response Plan through Monday, triggering extended services to accommodate those who are seeking shelter from the cold weather, said Director Polly Ruddick.

Each night, Lexington has an estimated 700 individuals, including children, who are experiencing homelessness sleeping in a local emergency shelter, transitional housing program, or a place not meant for human habitation. The City of Lexington, in partnership with local shelters, ensures that no person will have to sleep on the streets during extreme cold weather. Lexington expands all shelter capacity to give each individual the opportunity for warmth and services.  

Expanded shelter information has been provided to Lexington Police and Fire, churches, emergency rooms and hospital staff, as well as a large variety of stakeholders. LexTran is providing free rides to shelters. 

It is critically important that any citizen who sees someone who may need shelter should call Lexington Police at 859-258-3600, the non-emergency number. In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.