With a wide variety of winter weather and rapidly decreasing temperatures expected Saturday, Lexington has implemented its emergency 24-hour shelters to help the homeless, Mayor Linda Gorton announced Friday afternoon.
The emergency weather plan takes effect when the temperature is expected to fall below 32 degrees, which is projected to be the case Friday. The emergency weather plan will run through Tuesday.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for most of Kentucky from 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon through 10 a.m. Sunday morning.
According to WKYT Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey, rain Saturday will turn into ice as temperatures decrease quickly.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
“All that water is going to ice up very quickly as temps drop through the 20s and into the teens,” he said. “Throw just a little bit of snow on top of that and travel could get ugly at some point.”
He said 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible before the flash freeze. Wind chills may reach zero or below at times. In 12 hours, Kentucky could see heavy rain, high winds, a major temperature crash, a flash freeze and snow, he said.
The Hope Center in Lexington, which provides emergency shelter, food and clothing to the homeless, has also activated its winter weather policy for the men’s emergency shelter, it announced Friday morning.
No one will be turned away at the shelter, and area churches will accommodate any overflow, the Hope Center said.
“Our team will be out on the streets, checking on people and making sure they are aware of how to get to shelters,” said Cecil Dunn, executive director of the Hope Center. “This allows us to reach additional people with our other programs to address the underlying causes of homelessness, such as addiction, joblessness and physical and mental health problems.”
Because of an increase in clients up to 40 percent, the Hope Center has asked the community to donate hats, gloves, jackets, sweatshirts, scarves and blankets. They can be dropped off at 360 West Loudon Avenue.
The Catholic Action Center on Industry Road for men and women and Arbor Youth Services on West Third Street for children up to 17 years old are also available as 24-hour emergency shelters.
A complete list of shelters plus other weather-related information about snow removal on sidewalks and streets can be found at https://www.lexingtonky.gov/snowupdates. If you need to report someone who needs to go to an emergency shelter, contact the Compassionate Caravan at 859-913-0038 or 859-255-0301.