Fayette County

School districts close, roads coated with first snow of winter

Lexington streets were coated within about an hour of snow starting to fall Thursday.
Lexington streets were coated within about an hour of snow starting to fall Thursday.

The first snow of the winter season arrived in Central and Eastern Kentucky Thursday.

Within an hour of the snow starting, a traffic accidents were reported on Lexington streets and interstates.

Snowfall amounts were expected to be 1 to 3 inches, said WKYT chief meteorologist Chris Bailey. (Read his forecast here.)

In its forecast released Thursday morning, the National Weather Service said the worst-case scenario would be 4 inches in a swath of Central and Eastern Kentucky.

“It’ll be so cold, the ground will be frozen, so a lot of the snow will stick,” Bailey said.

See the latest Kentucky weather radar from Accuweather.

Within an hour of the snow starting, a traffic accidents were reported on Lexington streets and interstates.

Fayette County public schools held classes Thursday morning and officials were monitoring conditions, spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said. (Read the schools’ weather policy.)

Other districts in counties surrounding Fayette plus some in Eastern Kentucky closed schools Thursday in anticipation of the snow or after some flakes fell early, according to WKYT’s closings list.

After the snow, temperatures this weekend are expected to be as low as 0 to 5 degrees, with highs in the upper teens to low 20s.

“It’s going to be much colder than normal,” Bailey said.

Lexington typically gets its first snowfall in December, Bailey said.

Personnel in some of the state Transportation Cabinet’s 12 districts pretreated highways and interstates in advance of the storm and planned for additional employees or contractors to help clear roads Thursday.

Lexington street and road crews treated city streets with salt and other chemicals starting Wednesday morning to prepare for the snow.

Albert Miller, director of streets and roads, said snowplow crews started working shortly after midnight Wednesday, with a second set of crews starting at 4 a.m. Thursday.

“We will have crews working for 24 hours,” said Miller, who has worked 35 years in the streets and roads department.

Volunteers encouraged Lexington’s homeless people to seek shelter, city officials said. Anyone who wishes to report someone who might need shelter or a ride to a shelter should call or text the Catholic Action Center’s Cold Line at 859-913-0038.

The city also has a new website with information about Lexington’s snow plan and information about road conditions.

Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso

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