Ice storm warning in effect


Snow covers cars parked in the student parking lot outside Kroger Field on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff.

Natalie Parks

Meteorologists are forecasting harsh wintry weather heading into Wednesday and Thursday, leading city governments and UK to prep for a potential ice storm.

The National Weather Service issued an ice storm warning for central Kentucky beginning at 1 a.m. on Wednesday and ending at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Maps from Chris Bailey, WKYT’s chief meteorologist, show that Lexington is on the northern edge of this ice storm warning. Northern parts of Kentucky are under a winter weather advisory.

The university has recommended that students prepare for a power outage by keeping all their devices fully charged.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear closed state offices at 2:30 on Wednesday and activated the state’s emergency operations center.

“This is the time to review your safety plan for an unexpected power outage and to check on your extended family and neighbors,” said a release from the governor’s office.

Some predictions are calling for half an inch of ice for areas south of 1-64. Some highways are already accumulating a layer of ice. 

Meteorologists explain that the incoming weather is especially troubling because it calls for many types of precipitation, including freezing rain which will coat the roads. Bad weather could extend into the weekend due to anticipated temperatures in the low teens.

“I think it’s gonna be kind of out of hand but I’m from Ohio so nothing out of the ordinary for me,” said Sheridan Johnson, a freshman marketing major, of the incoming front.

She said she thought some students would be out getting supplies for the duration of the weather.

“There’s definitely going to be people overreacting because we go to an SEC school, so a lot of people who go here are from the south and don’t get this kind of weather normally,” Johnson said.

Ice storms are particularly dangerous because they are more likely to snap tree branches and weigh down power lines, leading to more damage and a higher risk of power outages.

“Road conditions are expected to be extremely hazardous Wednesday. Motorists should use extreme caution if driving is necessary, as the storm is expected to result in slick road conditions and reduced visibility,” city officials say.

If travel is necessary, the most important safety measure is to reduce speed and accelerate and apply brakes slowly. Beshear asked Kentuckians to postpone non-essential travel until at least Friday.

According to a release from Lexington officials, city crews will remain on duty throughout the warning to treat streets. They received a new batch of 3,000 tons of rock salt today.

“Residents can get information on accidents, lane blockages, snow-and-ice trouble spots and road closures through the city’s Twitter accounts (@lexwrecks and @lexkypolice),” read the release.

Lexington has also enacted its community emergency weather plan to provide shelter for its homeless population.

UK facilities management will be working around the clock on campus, said chief facilities officer Mary Vosevitch.

Grounds employees are to prioritize hospital areas and primary pedestrian routes according to the university’s snow plan.

They will pay extra attention to UK’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic, which closed for Wednesday, Feb. 10.

UK said that those with appointments on Wednesday will be rescheduled for next Monday, Feb. 15. 

“For consistency, the check in-time remains the same as it was on Feb. 10. If you are unable to receive your vaccination at the rescheduled date and time, you may change your appointment. Please check your email for instructions,” the university tweeted.

Those who cannot access the instructions can call the clinic at 859-218-0111 but should be patient due to high volume of calls.

UK’s inclement weather policy says that in-person classes can be canceled due to poor conditions, but online classes should continue. In-person classes were cancelled for Wednesday.

Freshman Ella Zombolo said she already planned to stay in the next few days.

“It really doesn’t faze me in any way, but in order to like, keep myself safe, I’m not going to any of my in person classes,” Zombolo said. “I emailed my teachers.”

Lexington residents can find tips for dealing with wintry weather and power outages at

Hannah Stanley contributed reporting.