LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – People across the state are kicking the weekend off early Friday over the threat of severe weather. Schools canceled classes and businesses closed, including on University of Kentucky’s (UK) campus.
UK announced early Friday that in-person classes and activities beginning at 12 p.m. were canceled. Employees on campus were dismissed as well, with the exception of critical operations staying open.
UK HealthCare continued to operate on its regular schedule, and Champions Kitchen and Fresh Food Company was scheduled to stay open until 8 p.m., while other dining locations closed at noon.
Kentucky severe weather coverage:
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- Keeping eyes on the skies: UK clears out for severe weather
Girlsgirlsgirls Burritos, one restaurant near campus, started preparing for the high winds and stormy weather.
Marceli Parisi, an employee at Girlsgirlsgirls Burritos, said, “Right now, we’re just trying to keep our building as safe as possible. So, we’re moving everything to the corners of the wall, stacking chairs, pushing it together to where nothing can get blown into our building or out in the streets. It’s a safety hazard, you know we’re right here on campus street.”
Parisi said the restaurant also is playing by ear if and when they will close, and managing what is in the best interest of the customers.
“Right now, we’re playing it by ear,” Parisi said. “Our manager asked all of us if we were comfortable with working today. We’re surrounded by dorms; we want people to have a place to come eat if they don’t have anywhere else to eat.”
Two students came to the restaurant just right around noon when classes were dismissed.
Mykyta Storozhenko said, “I got a text from UK saying campus is closed or something. I also teach there, so I was like, ‘Ok sweet, I don’t get to teach today.'”
Storozhenko noted he was a meteorologist for ‘The Weather Underground,” and said he was not concerned about the weather.
“We’re not too worried about it, I personally am from Florida, anytime we have a tropical storm wind gets up to 50-60 mph, and it’s not a big deal you know,” Storozhenko said.
But back at the girlsgirlsgirls Burritos, the staff not only prepped patio furniture, but the employees as well with an exit strategy.
“We have a whole entire safety evacuation route. We have doors in the back, stairwells completely blocked by cement walls, so if we need to go there for our safety, we got it,” Parisi said.
To know more about UK’s severe weather procedures, visit https://www.uky.edu/severe-weather-procedures/.
UK asks for students and staff to locate its nearest shelter location, monitor the severe storm and tornado warnings, and follow the following protocols:
- Protect yourself from lightning and flying debris – seek shelter immediately.
- Stop what you’re doing and move to an interior room or hallway on the building’s lowest level.
- Avoid outside doors and windows.
- If you are on campus, find recommended shelter locations marked on the emergency floor plans posted throughout campus buildings.
Other important details:
- Plan B (designated) employees are required to report to work on campus.
- Employee FAQs related to emergency closures are available here.
- Find more information about the weather event including hours of critical services at www.uky.edu/alerts.