City turns its focus to cold temperatures, Mayor says

Mayor Linda Gorton urged citizens to take extra precautions as temperatures dip to near zero levels.

“Over the next few days we will experience extreme temperatures that can be dangerous to people and animals,” Gorton said. “We want to make sure we are doing all we can to assist. We need citizens to reach out to neighbors and friends.”

Homeless Outreach

The Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention is teaming up with community partners to expand its work to provide shelter and care packages for individuals experiencing homelessness in Lexington.

The extra effort is part of LexCount, an annual count of homeless individuals and families. This year, because of the bitter cold temperatures, volunteers will also use the count as an opportunity to engage unsheltered persons in targeted outreach.

“The City is expressly committed to ensuring the safety of all those experiencing homelessness in Fayette County,” said Polly Ruddick, director of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention. “With wind chills expected to be as low as negative 20 degrees on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the City will be diligently working with community partners to relocate unsheltered persons to shelter and provide them access to basic necessities and community resources.”

Citizens who are worried about someone out in the cold or someone experiencing homelessness are encouraged to contact the Compassionate Caravan at 859-913-0038. Additionally, a list of emergency shelters is available on the city’s website.

Animal Care

Prolonged exposure to dangerously cold temperatures can put animals in danger, according to Lexington-Fayette Animal Care & Control. Although some pets are used to staying outside, in extreme temperatures experts recommend that animals be moved inside. Animal Care offers temporary crates to people who need a crate to bring outside pets inside.

To report the mistreatment or neglect of an animal call 859-255-9033, ext. 221. Your contact information will be kept confidential.

Waste Management

There will be several changes in city garbage pick up this week to protect Waste Management employees from the bitter cold temperatures:

  • All yard waste collection has been canceled for the rest of the week.
  • On Wednesday, Jan. 30, the Division of Waste Management will not conduct special call truck collections. The Materials Recovery Facility, Electronic Waste Facility and Landfill operations will be closed to the public. 
  • On Thursday, Jan. 31, there will be no curbside collection services. Those who normally receive garbage pick-up on Thursday will be serviced on Friday.
  • On Friday, Feb. 1, regular curbside service resumes (other than yard waste). Crews will also pick up at houses that normally receive service on Thursdays.

 

Parks/ESP

Fayette County Public Schools are closed Wednesday. The Parks and Recreation Extended School program will operate from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at snow day locations, Athens-Chilesburg, Maxwell, and Stonewall elementary. Children should pack a lunch and drink.

Fire

Firefighters offered several safety tips: keep pets, young children and anything that can burn 3 feet away from heating sources such as furnaces, fireplaces or portable space heaters; do not use your stove as a heating source; only use your fireplace if it has been recently inspected and cleaned; never leave space heaters unattended, only plug them directly into a wall outlet, and unplug them when they are not in use.

To prevent frozen pipes, allow water to drip from the faucet, open cabinet doors and set your thermostat at a constant temperature. If pipes have frozen, do not use a blow torch or other open flame to thaw. Know where your water shut-off is in case pipes freeze.

Emergency Management 

Lexington Emergency Management encourages residents to take extra precautions.

“The below freezing temperatures create dangerous situations for anyone outdoors for more than a few minutes,” said Patricia Dugger, Director of Lexington Emergency Management. “We’re encouraging people to limit outdoor activities during this cold wave and take precautions to make sure pipes don’t freeze. People need to limit outdoor activities with pets as well.”

Information about winter and extreme cold weather preparedness is available at BeReadyLexington.com.

Streets and Roads

Road crews are monitoring conditions and will respond as needed. The City has a full supply of salt and chemical additives. Trucks and personnel are ready to go.

Police

To prevent auto theft, Lexington police urge citizens not to leave running vehicles unattended.

311 and Social Media

Citizens with specific needs can call LexCall 311 for assistance. Updates on the city’s response to weather conditions are also available through the city’s Twitter accounts (@lexingtonkygov, @lexwrecks, @lexkypolice). You can also follow the hashtag #LexKySnow.

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Mayor Gorton speaking at lectern with group of about 15 officials behind her