Fayette County

Nine days below freezing, and more to come for Lexington

UK employee Rachael Deel walked to work Tuesday in minus-one degree temperature past a column of steam from an in-ground vent on the University of Kentucky campus. Another arctic front was expected Tuesday night, bringing temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero through the end of the week.
UK employee Rachael Deel walked to work Tuesday in minus-one degree temperature past a column of steam from an in-ground vent on the University of Kentucky campus. Another arctic front was expected Tuesday night, bringing temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero through the end of the week. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Lexington temperatures have not climbed past freezing for nine straight days, and it doesn’t look like there will be relief from the frigid temperatures any time this week.

Another arctic front is expected to come through Tuesday night, bringing with it temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero through the end of the week, WKYT meteorologist Chris Bailey said. On Thursday the temperature will drop as low as 5 degrees, with wind chills making it feel as low as -5 to -15 degrees.

The frigid weather is expected to continue through Saturday, with temperatures only getting above freezing on Sunday or Monday, Bailey said. Monday may also see a wintery precipitation mix, which could cause icy conditions paired with the frozen ground.

The current trajectory could put us at the sixth longest stretch of consecutive days below freezing in Lexington’s history, Bailey said.

It’s a stretch of cold that has proven challenging, especially for those who care for Lexington’s homeless community.

“Really it’s a long haul right now for everyone,” said Ginny Ramsey, director of the Catholic Action Center. “It takes a toll on everyone.”

Monday night alone, the Catholic Action Center provided shelter for 197 people, Ramsey said. Mountain Comprehensive Care, which is housed in the same building as the center, opened its doors overnight to take in 30 of those guests.

Members of the homeless community are pitching in to help their own, Ramsey said. Some have helped to sort donations and others have gone out with the center’s Compassionate Caravan to convince people who would otherwise refuse to come in for the night.

The Catholic Action Center is in need of donations of laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, which can be dropped of at 1055 Industry Road. Monetary donations can be made online at catholicactioncenter.net/donate.

Anyone who sees someone who might be in need of warm clothing or a ride to a Lexington shelter can call the Compassionate Caravan at 859-913-0038.

The low temperatures have also caused pipes to freeze and burst in some buildings.

At Day’s Plumbing Supply there has been a definite uptick in reports of burst and frozen pipes, but it has not been as bad as it has been in years past, owner Ernie Bisang said. It’s possible there will be higher numbers of reported pipe bursts once things start thawing, he said.

One way to prevent frozen pipes is to leave water faucets dripping, Bisang said.

Fayette County Public Schools tweeted on Tuesday that school will be back in session on Wednesday following the winter holiday.

The school system considers a combination of factors, including ambient (air) temperature, wind chill, precipitation, road conditions, sidewalk conditions and weather forecasts, Fayette County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall has said.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments