Lexington prepared for evening winter weather, sites offer updates

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Light snow arrived in the Bluegrass Monday morning, officially marking the first snow of the season. While there was no significant accumulation or heavy impact on traffic, it was a reminder that winter weather is here, and the City is ready.

“Winter has come to town, and we’re ready,” Mayor Linda Gorton said during a briefing Monday afternoon. “I am proud of our teams, who work so hard to keep our roads clear. We have the personnel available to do the job, and they are doing great.”

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Streets and Roads Director Rob Allen said the City has been preparing for winter weather since the summer.

“This year, meetings with our internal and external partners such as Lextran, the University of Kentucky, and Transylvania University, looked a little different as they were held via Zoom for safety reasons, but our goal remained the same – to ensure we are using our combined resources efficiently and effectively for our residents,” Allen said.

Lexington is prepared with approximately 4,250 gallons of salt brine, 3,800 tons of rock salt (sodium chloride), and some 4,000 gallons of proprietary chemical additive on hand.

Pre-treating the roads with salt brine, salt, or a mixture of salt and chemical de-icing additives is the first step in preparing for a winter weather event.

Additionally, the City provided training for new employees on equipment, operation, and routes. They have also installed and checked equipment, such as salt spreaders and snowplows.

And the first snow is a reminder to motorists of what is on the way.

“Any time we have rain or snow, drivers are encouraged to use extra caution on the roads,”  said Brenna Angel, Public Information Officer for the Lexington Police Department. “Slow down and increase your stopping distance.”

The City has also activated its Community Emergency Winter Weather Plan for shelters.

“Lexington is fortunate to have a community of service providers that come together each year, making sure every person without a home has access to emergency shelter to keep warm,” said Polly Ruddick, Director of the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention.

Shelters have added capacity, but the process to access shelters has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone in need of information and/or shelter can call the street outreach team at 859-533-9199 until 10 p.m. After 10 p.m., call 859-494-0470. Anyone seeking shelter in the surrounding counties can visit uwbg211.org.

Snow and ice removal in Fayette County are a joint effort between the City and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The City Divisions of Streets & Roads and Water Quality are responsible for snow and ice removal for approximately 1,400 lane miles of city and county roads. The state is responsible for plowing more than 800 lane miles of federal, state, and county roads.

How to stay informed during the winter season

Website: Get the most up-to-date information about the measures the City is taking to ensure the wellness and safety of our residents at lexingtonky.gov/snowupdates.

Social media: Get information on accidents, lane blockages, snow-and-ice trouble spots, and road closures through the City’s Twitter accounts at @lexwrecks and @lexkypolice. General information, including emergency and time-sensitive information, is available on the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Traffic cameras: Traffic at major intersections can be viewed in real time through the City’s traffic cameras at lexingtonky.gov/traffic.