'An Extremely Unusual Dynamic For Severe Weather': Kentucky Battens Down For Storm Number Two

Feb 15, 2021

Kentucky is one of a host of states hunkering down for another pair of potentially dangerous winter storms this week.

Credit Karyn Czar / WUKY

"So we've experienced an extremely unusual dynamic for severe weather here in the state," emergency management director Michael Dossett began his briefing Monday morning.

That dynamic: three winter storm events back-to-back. The second began Sunday, and Dossett says it will run through the early morning hours of Tuesday, bringing up to half an inch of ice and potentially 6-8 inches of snow in some regions.

"This storm will impact most of our counties and should be considered a very dangerous system," the emergency management head explained. "Again, you can expect sleet, freezing rain, ice, very heavy snowfall, with accumulation rates of 1-2 inches per hour. That's far in excess of what we can manage on interstates, so it's going to take everyone's cooperation."

To manage that downfall, the National Guard is on call across the state to aid stranded interstate motorists, clear debris from roads, and assist relief efforts in counties where power outages remain following last week's ice and snow.

The winter system is expected to deliver its third punch Wednesday night through Thursday in the form of more sleet, snow, and freezing rain, with smaller but still significant amounts of accumulation.  

Credit University of Kentucky

What If I'm Getting Vaccinated?

Winter weather challenges are complicating ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Kentucky, but they're also providing a crucial test of the state's fledgling delivery system.

Last Thursday, winter weather shut down three regional vaccination sites, including Lexington's. This week, Frankfort's location will close on Tuesday. The remainder of the Kroger regional centers see patients Thursday through Saturday, so their schedules will depend on developing weather conditions later in the week.

As of early afternoon Monday, the University of Kentucky's vaccination location at Kroger Field was set to remain on schedule, pending changes to the forecast.  

The appointment delays caused by the weather will lead to longer lines in the coming week as rescheduled patients show up alongside regularly-scheduled recipients, but Gov. Andy Beshear says the sites are designed to handle two to three times more than their current volume.

"This is going to be a good test, especially next week, with what we're going to see about our ability to scale up," the governor said.

As for vaccine doses spoiling, Beshear says he isn't worried.

"The bigger concern is if an area loses power that's storing doses but they all have different agreements and different plans in place, whether they be generators or partners that they can take those doses to," the governor added.

Still, those signed up to receive vaccinations at hospitals or other providers should call to confirm that those appointments are still on.

Resources:

  • For LEX weather/road conditions updates go to https://www.lexingtonky.gov/snow-and-ice-updates
  • For KY snow and ice resources go to snowky.ky.gov
  • For KY road conditions go to goky.ky.gov
  • DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 FOR WEATHER INFO
  • DO NOT CALL KSP FOR WEATHER INFO
  • Warming Centers are now open across the state. In Lexington, LexTran is offering free rides to the Dunbar and Senior Centers.