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Lexington divisions break down pros and cons of the city's windstorm response

Alan Lytle

Numerous branches of Lexington city government are still assessing the fallout from the March 3 windstorms that blew across the state, generating near-record-high gusts in Fayette County.

The wind blasts that took down power lines, trees, and interrupted life in Lexington in early March were a test of multiple city departments – from police and fire to emergency management.

While the event shut down schools and left tens of thousands without power for days, Commissioner of Public Safety Ken Armstrong said an all-hands-on-deck approach helped the city regain its footing as fast as possible.

Communications proved to be difficult in the early hours of the emergency, but Armstrong said talks are underway to provide more back-ups should emergency systems fail.

Lexington director of emergency management Pat Dugger said her division has also spoken with utility companies about making the timeline for repairs clearer, especially in cases where it’s known that restoration won’t be happening for a while.

"If people know what the situation is and they know they're trying to make it safe and at least it's going to be three days, then you can plan for that," Dugger said. "So that is one big thing we really talked to them about, and how we can better jointly more inform the public on the true status of the situation."

Presenters did urge all residents to visit BeReadyLexington.com, where they can find advice on how to make a plan in the event of a variety of emergency situations.

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.