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Lexington Emergency Management ready to clear winter weather roads

Posted at 1:10 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 13:10:38-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As the temperature drops and snow looms in the forecast, emergency crews ensure they are ready to treat roads across Kentucky and Lexington.

In Lexington, the Streets and Roads Deputy Director Rob Allen said Thursday morning crews were staged and ready to go out when necessary.

Due to significant and continuous rain falling throughout Thursday morning, John Bobel of the Lexington-Fayette County Emergency Management explained the process changed for their road teams.

"City crews and state crews can't pretreat the roadways," said Bobel. "There is a solution they use to mitigate the freezing factor on highways. During the rain, it just washes off so it can't be used. So, it's more important now that we monitor these areas. We have crews that are out there that are monitoring the situation. And then we'll be able to apply materials when we find out that areas are starting to ice over and then make sure things are safe for everybody."

Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said there were more than 2,000 Kentucky Transportation Cabinet employees ready to treat and clear roads across the state.

Bobel said Lexington has back-up crews ready.

"We don't get a choice as to when Mother Nature decides to throw us a curveball like this," he said. "Certainly, in Lexington and other areas crews are practiced with this. We have plenty of materials to put on the highways -- our crews know what to do."

For drivers out throughout the changing weather, emergency teams encouraged them to drive slowly and keep an eye out for black ice.

"Certainly, for those last-minute shoppers who are out and about, the temperature is still above freezing so get out there finish your shopping get home. If you have to do that last minute, shopping, later this afternoon, do watch for black ice to watch for freezing conditions. Get home safe and sound and celebrate with family," said Bobel.

Allen said although he had a schedule in place for his team to have a break for the holidays he said clearing the roads is "just part of the job and part of essential public works."