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Lexington Says It's Ready For Snow Season - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Lexington Says It's Ready For Snow Season

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The unseasonably warm temperatures might make thoughts of snow seem far off, but officials are declaring the city ready for to deal with cold weather problems.

“We’ve got a snow plan, a barn full of salt, and crews and trucks ready to go,” Mayor Jim Gray said in a statement.

The city says on average it responds to more than 20 snow events each year.

“The past three years have been unusual,” Rob Allen, the deputy director of Streets and Roads, said. “Three years ago we had a polar vortex and sub-freezing temps. Two years ago we had two 12-inch snows followed by a 4-inch snow three days later. While the volume of snow was great, the number of events, 11, was small. Last year, we had a mild winter — only six responses and two real snows.”

Lexington is responsible for plowing more than 1,400 lane miles in Fayette County. This includes streets and roads that were added to the city’s snow plan over the past couple of years. Two years ago, during those 12-inch snows, the city paid contractors more than $850,000 to assist city crews in plowing snow. Last year, the city had a contractor dedicated to plowing certain major roads in Lexington with a guaranteed payment of $178,000 to cover fit-up expenses. The contractor’s crews were deployed twice, costing an additional $5,000 on top of the fit-up expense. Because no streets or roads have been removed from the snow plan, it will take longer for city crews to plow the same number of streets without contractor support.

The city expects to have 40 trucks dedicated to snow plowing. Drivers will work 12-hour shifts. Salt boxes and salt spreaders have already been added to the trucks. Plow blades will be added right before the first snow.

Lexington uses 7,000-12,000 tons of salt during a typical winter. The city has 6,000 tons of salt on hand and has authorized the purchase of another 3,000 tons with a guaranteed price for more, if needed. The city also uses salt brine to treat roadways.

“We are able to start treating the roads up to three days before a weather event as long as it doesn’t look like it will start with rain,” Allen said.

“As always, we ask that drivers use caution when driving in winter weather and have some patience as we do our best to clear snow from roadways as quickly as possible,” says Dowell Hoskins-Squier, Environmental Quality & Public Works’ commissioner.

The city has updated its Snow and Ice Plan.

“After careful examination of both the needs of our citizens and the resources available, the city has developed a plan of snow and ice removal operations,” says Chester Hicks, an administrative officer in the Division of Environmental Quality and Public Works.  “This plan serves as a guide for our snow removal crews, administration officials and the general public on how we will conduct operations during hazardous winter weather.” The plan is available on the city’s website here.

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