City crews prepared for winter storm

February 15, 2021

Mayor Greg Fischer today provided an update on the city’s preparedness for Winter Storm Uri. He was joined by John Gordon with the National Weather Service, Major Bobby Cooper with the Louisville Division of Fire and Salvador Melendez, PIO for Metro’s Department of Public Works.

“I ask everyone to please stay home and avoid traveling unless absolutely necessary for work, food, medicine, or medical care,” said the Mayor. “We ask employers to give employees as much flexibility as you’re able, including the opportunity to work from home. The fewer cars on the road, especially while snow or freezing rain is falling, the few accidents.”

The city remains under a Winter Storm Warning and the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is on alert status level 1. This is a situational awareness status, meaning the city is tracking the weather and preparing to respond accordingly.

The National Weather Service anticipates the next wave of wintry weather arriving this afternoon, and producing much more snow and ice accumulations than the first.

The Metro Snow Team, led by Metro Public Works and made up of the Public Works Solid Waste Management Division, Metro Parks, Codes & Regulations, and Fleet Services have been working since 7 p.m. last night and are currently going through their third pass. The roadways are currently in fair condition, and the team is plowing only where needed on some routes.

By this afternoon, the operation will change to simultaneously plowing, and salt and calcium chloride application due to low temperatures and the amount of snow/sleet expected.

As snow coverage increases, visibility could become an issue during the rush-hour commute. Routes in the county’s more rural areas may be more challenging due to the lack of shoulders on some of them, posing a greater risk as the edge of the road isn’t as easy to spot.

The Mayor reminds residents that if they see a snowplow, please stay back and be patient so they can do their jobs. “To all the members of the Snow Team, thank you, we truly appreciate your work, and please stay safe.”

The Snow Team has a vast supply of materials needed to get the city through the winter season and more. The city started the season with 49,000 tons of salt and an estimated nearly 35,000 tons still remain in storage ready for use. Other materials used such as brine and calcium chloride are also in vast supply.

To stay informed on the Snow Team’s progress, click on the METRO SNOW MAP


Vulnerable residents

As the city continues to experience low temperatures and wind chills in the teens and single digits, the Mayor and his team remain in conversation with the Coalition for the Homeless and other partners to protect the city’s most vulnerable from harsh winter conditions.

“Through our Office of Resilience and Community Services, we have worked with community partners to ensure beds are available to those who want shelter,” said the Mayor.

Operation White Flag goes into effect when the temperature or wind chill is below 35 degrees.

Shelter availability:

Wayside Christian Mission at 432 E. Jefferson St. has shelter space available and is operating 24/7. Wayside is also helping to provide transportation services for those needing to reach shelters. Call 502-996-1888.

Salvation Army at 911 S. Brook St. is operating a Healthy Day Shelter location at their campus at 911 S. Brook Street with a 400-person capacity. No reservations are required. They also are operating a Healthy Overnight Shelter with a 70-bed capacity for men and women at the Brook Street campus. Call 502-671-4904 to check bed availability.

The Healing Place (for men only) at 1020 W. Market St. has a 48-bed capacity. Call 502-585-4848 to check bed availability.

Overflow Capacity: In addition, Wayside Mission, which operates Hotel Louisville, has capacity to make overflow/shelter beds available if needed. Call 502-389-9009. Transportation Available to Shelters: Wayside is also helping to provide transportation services for those needing to reach shelters. Call 502-996-1888. How the Community Can Assist: Ending homelessness remains a community challenge, and we urge concerned residents to help by donating

Metro government and partner efforts to protect unsheltered during severe weather are attached to this release.





The LouVax vaccination site at Broadbent Arena will be closed Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Appointments for those scheduled to receive their vaccinations tomorrow will be cancelled. Those individuals will receive an email from [email protected] inviting them to reschedule according to their availability. The LouVax team will continue to monitor the weather, and decisions for the remainder of the week will be made and announced daily.

The LouVax team is optimistic that it will be able to overcome the delays and is considering options for making up the days missed, including staying open longer or possibly operating on a Saturday.

For those concerned about getting their second doses “on time” - 28 days is the recommended interval for the booster, but it is ok if it has to be pushed beyond this date. Per CDC guidance, individuals should get their second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine.



The Louisville Free Public Library will operate on a modified schedule for Tuesday, Feb. 16, with all locations closing early at 5:30 p.m. Curbside pick-up and computer appointments before 5:30 p.m. will still be offered. Library staff will contact everyone with appointments to confirm or reschedule, depending on patrons' preferences. As conditions change, please check the Library's website,, or social media for updates.



LG&E is monitoring the forecast and planning accordingly. Safety is the top priority for employees, customers and the general public. Because a good portion of the ice resulting from last week’s storm has not melted, adding the multiple rounds of heavy snow and/or ice expected with this incoming weather event will undoubtedly cause tree limbs and trees to fall into power lines. These conditions could pose a threat to safety and hamper power restoration efforts.

Residents must be cautious of downed wires around fallen trees that may be hidden in the snow. LG&E reminds everyone to stay away from fallen lines and treat them as dangerous live wires. LG&E customers should call (502) 589-1444 to notify the utilities of the location of any downed powerlines. Customers can view the utilities’ online outage map and report outages online at You can also report an outage by using Outage Texting or the automated phone system.

Louisville Water continues to remind homeowners to take precautions to prevent their pipes from bursting – wrap expose pipes with insulating material, tag outdoor water shut-off valve, cover crawl spaces and outside vents, keep garage doors closed and run a small steady stream of water from a cold water faucet.



TARC will continue to monitor conditions throughout the service area and implement Winter Weather Detours as needed. For real-time updates, and to help plan ahead with a list of the most common detours implemented during severe winter weather, visit the News & Events page at


Animal Services

Animal House Adoption Center will be closed today and tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 16. The animal shelter will remain open, and animal control will continue to respond to priority 1 service requests and reports of anima left outside without proper shelter.

To report a neglected pet or animal without proper shelter, call 502-473PETS, or submit a service request at



The Louisville Zoo is closed to the public today and tomorrow. The staff is at the Zoo caring for and feeding the animals as every other day.


Fire Prevention

To stay safe during the winter storm and throughout the entire cold weather season the Louisville Division of Fire is recommending the following safety tips:

Generators: Do not use generators indoors or inside attached garages and remember to keep them at least 10 feet away from the home. When fueling the generator, make sure the engine is stopped, always use the recommended type of fuel and allow it to cool down for at least 15 minutes before refueling and 30 minutes after prolonged use.

Carbon Monoxide: Never warm a vehicle in a closed garage, clear snow from outdoor vents and frequently test carbon monoxide detectors. Always use gas burning ovens and stoves appropriately and never use them to heat a residence.

Space heaters: Make sure it meets the industry’s testing standards and has built-in safety features, like an automatic shut off or an overheat shut off feature. Do not use if the electrical cord is damaged, always unplug when leaving the room or going to bed, and remember to keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from any combustibles, draperies or furniture.

Downed trees and power lines: DO NOT handle any telephone, cable, or electrical

lines; as they may be electrically charged and DO NOT attempt to move or go near tree limbs on your home or near electrical lines; as they may be charged.

When using a fireplace: Make sure it has been serviced by a certified technician and keep fires small. Always make sure the flue is in working condition and use a screen to keep embers and sparks inside the fireplace.

View the NWS’ briefing slides.

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