Lexington prepares for arctic blast

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The arctic blast is coming to town, bringing along plenty of ice and snow, but Mayor Linda Gorton says Lexington is ready.(WDKY)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – The arctic blast is coming to town, bringing along plenty of ice and snow, but Mayor Linda Gorton says Lexington is ready.

“We’ve loaded up our salt barn, pre-treated roads where we can, and we’re ready to clear limbs if needed,” Gorton said. “Our police officers and firefighters are prepared to respond to emergencies. We’re as ready as we can be.”

Gorton said the city’s top priority is to keep the public safe, especially in the event of power outages and ice-covered streets.

“We will assess the conditions and do what we need to do to protect the public,” Gorton said. “I have checked in with Kentucky Utilities, and they have crews standing by, ready to work around the clock.”

Gorton held a briefing Wednesday morning to update on preparations for the storm.

Rob Allen, Director of Streets and Roads, said the city has filled its two salt barns, recently buying 3,000 tons of salt. The city has bought 8,000 tons this year. “We have plenty of salt, and continue to accept delivery of our most recent order,” he said.

Roads are in good condition, with most precipitation so far being rain, Allen said. “Crews are pre-treating ranked roads with salt, and are working 12-hour shifts for the duration of the storm.”

Police Chief Lawrence Weathers said police are also prepared for the storm.

“The Bureau of Patrol will have Neighborhood Resource Officers working to assist stranded motorists and homeless notifications for pick-ups/transport to shelters during the day. We will also have officers placed on special assignment to monitor the roadways for stranded motorists,” Weathers said.

The second and third shifts will have special assignments doing both tasks alongside CLEAR Officers, who usually monitor the interstate and roadways during their shifts.

Each sector should have five portable inverters in case of intersection power outages. The Bureau of Patrol also has several police cruisers that are outfitted with inverters.

The Bureau of Special Operations will deploy the barricade truck and snowplow as needed. The Bureau of Special Operations also has 5 portable inverters within the traffic section and 2 light towers that can be moved to be used as needed. All traffic units have built-in car inverters, or carry a portable.

“Units will be able to work beyond their shift or come in early if requested by the Duty Commander,” Weathers said.

The Fire Department says they have 159 line personnel on duty, with all front line units currently staffed and operational.

“We are monitoring the current and forecasted weather conditions, and are prepared to request and surge additional resources as needed,” said Robert Larkin, Assistant Chief, Operations. “Our personnel are aware of and fully support the Community Emergency Weather Plan to assist our homeless and at need community. We have internally prepared and tested equipment such as portable generators, chainsaws, light and heating units.”

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