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Lexington Braces For Bitter Cold Temps

Josh James

With dangerously chilly temperatures forecast for Lexington in the coming days, Mayor Linda Gorton is urging residents to prepare while the city works to find shelter for those in need. 

It’s not snow or ice that has city officials worried – it’s the drop in the mercury this week. Weather watchers anticipate highs only reaching the teens Wednesday and, when wind chill is factored in, overnight temperatures possibly as low as 20 below on Wednesday and Thursday night.

"This is no joke when it goes below zero," Gorton told reporters. 

Polly Ruddick heads up the city’s Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention. She says the city is combining its annual LexCount, which tracks the number of people experiencing homelessness, with a targeted outreach to get people indoors and provide care packages.

While some rejected the shelter offer last year, Ruddick says "this year is going to be a little different. Because we are in extreme low temperatures, we have dipped into some emergency funding out of my office and partnered with two providers here in town to offer transportation and then to put people in a sheltered location." 

Among the closures and delays to be aware of: Fayette County Public Schools will be shut down Wednesday and possibly Thursday or Friday depending on conditions. Yard waste services have been suspended for the rest of the week and will resume on Monday. Curbside collection normally serviced on Thursday will be moved to Friday. More info is at 311.

The mayor is urging all residents to take extra precautions, including blankets and extra water when driving in case of car trouble, and to bring animals inside. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.