City pulls together to battle major snowstorm
March 5, 2015
As city crews work around the clock to battle nearly a foot of snow, Mayor Greg Fischer announced steps to make sure citizens needing emergency transportation or other needs. He also announced social media contest for the Cleanest Sidewalk. Fischer said the 211 Help Line, in partnership with Metro United Way, is available for people who need non-emergency medical help. A new Twitter hashtag to connect people in need with volunteers willing to help has also been created -- it’s #LouSnowHelp. The Mayor said he’s pleased that many people appear to be clearing sidewalks and he announced the Cleanest Sidewalk Award, with the winner being announced at today’s 3:30 p.m. news conference. Simply post pictures of clean sidewalks on social media and use #CleanSidewalk -- the winner gets the city’s Louisville Bats suite for a game this spring. Fischer said the city’s snow 265-person snow team worked through the night salting and plowing, and a new shift took over at 7 a.m. this morning. The crews focus on the 98 main routes -- the streets that, once treated, will help improve mobility throughout the city. Once the main routes are cleared, crews turn their attention to the most important side streets as identified by JCPS. “The snow was falling hard and fast all through the night, which posed challenges,” Fischer said. “By the time we completed a route, it was covered again in snow. Just like at home -- if you shoveled your decks or walkway at any point last night, you woke today and it looked as if you did nothing. That’s what happened with our road crews. Fischer again urged residents and businesses to help in three critical ways. First, keep all parked cars off of the 98 major plowing routes – to help crews clear the streets efficiently and to keep vehicles parked along the routes from being trapped by plowed snow. “It’s also critical for everyone to pitch in and help clear sidewalks so people have a place to walk and citizens using walkers or wheelchairs have ample space to move about,” Fischer said. The Mayor said the best time to do this is immediately after the snow has stopped falling but before it’s compacted and turns to ice. After it’s compacted, removing it is much more difficult. Finally, Fischer asked citizens to help city crews in removing snow around TARC bus stops. Most TARC stops are on sidewalks so, technically, citizens are also responsible for the sidewalks around TARC shelters and benches. The special TARC Dig Out Teams with employees from various city departments that Fischer announced yesterday were already at work before sun-up this morning. Fischer said they aren’t able to get to all 4,800 TARC stops, but are targeting the most crucial and most used ones.