Mayor, city leaders urging residents to be extremely cautious and prepare for incoming weather conditions
Gusty winds and rain, followed by frigid, dropping temperatures
Mayor Craig Greenberg and the National Weather Service (NWS) advise residents to use caution and prepare for the incoming active weather pattern expected to impact Louisville today through early next week.
Louisville is currently under a High Wind Warning until 7 p.m. tonight. According to the NWS, damaging wind gusts greater than 50 mph are likely for today into early Saturday. There is a potential for accumulating snow Sunday night into early next week. Bitterly cold temperatures will follow in the wake of the potential snow as an arctic cold front pushes into the region. Air temperatures will likely range from single digits to teens Monday through Wednesday, and wind chills will fall below zero at times.
“With dangerously cold temperatures and winter weather on the way, we’re taking the steps necessary to keep Louisville safe,” said the Mayor. “As the temperature plummets, we need everyone who can to stay indoors and avoid driving as much as possible. If you must be out, please use extreme caution.”
The Metro Snow Team is ready. Their preparedness started in October, when they conducted mock runs on their snow routes to ensure both equipment and personnel are ready for winter weather.
They will report in Sunday afternoon and perform equipment and materials inspections. If there is no rain prior to any snowfall, they will apply brine to Metro’s snow routes. They will work twelve-hour intervals to make sure they provide around the clock event coverage for as long as necessary to ensure our roadways are in safe driving condition. There are more than 200 snowfighters and 200 pieces of equipment ready and available.
With 38,000 tons of salt on hand, the Snow Team is led by Metro Public Works under the leadership of Director Jennifer Caummisar-Kern and Assistant Director for Roads and Operations Mike Nolan. The Public Works Solid Waste Management and Signs & Markings Divisions, Metro Parks, the Department of Codes & Regulations’ Vacant Lots Division and the Department of Fleet Services are also part of the team.
The Snow Team will pretreat roads with brine ahead of snowfalls when appropriate. Brine is a saltwater solution that reduces the adherence of snow and ice to pavement and reduces slick spots.
Agency updates and safety tips (listed in ABC order)
Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) is advising residents to bring pets inside during frigid temperatures. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. Please contact Animal Control to report pets left outside without proper shelter. If residents are unsure whether to place a service request, LMAS encourages residents to call and report at 502-473-PETS.
LMAS will be handing out free straw to residents of Jefferson County on Saturday, Jan. 13th from noon – 4 p.m. at its Animal Care Complex located at 3528 Newburg Road, while supplies last.
Because any weather pattern can change, the city is urging all residents to sign up for LENSAlert and Smart911 to receive weather updates, travel advisories and safety information. Additionally, residents can plan for emergencies by filling out their safety profile on Smart911 to give 9-1-1 the information they need to help in an emergency. Text “LENSALERT” to 67283 to sign up for alerts.
Residents can prepare for the incoming frigid weather by fully stocking emergency kits.
- For the vehicle – jumper cables, flares or a reflective triangle, ice scrapper, blanket, car cell phone charger, cat litter or sand for better tire traction.
- For the home – flashlight, first aid kit, batteries, water and food, prescription medications and an extra cell phone battery or chargers.
For the full emergency supply list, click here.
All Louisville Free Public Library locations will remain open with regular operating hours. As conditions change, please check the library's website, LFPL.org, or social media for updates. Please note that all LFPL locations will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Louisville Fire Department
The Louisville Fire Department reminds residents to use safety precautions when dealing with the cold in their homes:
- 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 your heaters meet the industry’s testing standards and have 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.
- Candles: Flashlights and battery-operated candles are recommended for emergency lighting. If you are using real candles, be sure they are in a sturdy non-combustible container, keep them clear of combustibles and never leave them unattended. Be sure to extinguish candles before leaving the home or going to sleep.
Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS)
All RCS staff, with the exception of some Homeless Services Division outreach specialists, will be off Monday, Jan. 15 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. For general inquiries about Metro RCS, call 502-574-5050.
Outreach specialists from the Homeless Services Division will work Sunday, and through the Monday holiday, providing connection to local services and transportation to local shelters.
Operation White Flag goes into effect when the temperature or the wind chill is below 35 degrees. All persons needing shelter can stay at the participating shelters while weather conditions persist. The participating Operation White Flag shelters include:
- White Flag is available for single men and women.
- Address: 911 S. Brook Street
- White Flag Check in begins at 6 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m., depending on availability.
- A person can make a reservation for White Flag at Salvation Army by calling the Coordinated Shelter Access (CSA) line at 637-2337 between 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., seven days a week. A reservation is not required, but it will guarantee a bed.
- Capacity is 30 beds for men and 10 beds for women.
- The Day Shelter is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Meals are available prior to shelter check in at 5 p.m. and after check out each morning.
Wayside Christian Mission:
- White Flag is available for single men, women, and families (accepts cats and dogs).
- Address: 432 E. Jefferson Street
- Check in for White Flag begins at the time White Flag is called for the day.
- No reservations are needed for Wayside White Flag – it is first come, first serve.
- Wayside capacity is around 200, with mats available to the first 100.
To locate the nearest shelter and to reserve a bed, residents can call the Coordinated Shelter Access line at (502) 637-2337. For all other inquiries and for help with other city services, call Metro311 or 502-574-5000. If the CSA line is closed (open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), contact the shelter directly. If an individual is banned from any particular shelter, it is up to the staff on whether or not the individual is admitted.
To get White Flag notifications and shelter availability updates, residents can opt-in for RAVE alerts from the Continuum of Care (CoC). To enroll, fill out this Google form. Louisville Metro Homeless Services Division is coordinating with grassroots outreach organizations to ensure the safety of individuals who stay unsheltered.
How to help?
The Coalition for the Homeless put together a “Winter Donation Needs” to help Louisvillians meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness by giving the right item to the right team at the right time. Visit here for more info: https://louhomeless.org/winter-needs/
The St. John Center, which operates a day shelter providing fresh coffee, hot showers, and a place for guests to receive personal mail and phone calls, is actively seeking donations of winter essentials, including hats, gloves, hand warmers, and Hanes boxer briefs. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter located at 700 E. Muhammad Ali Blvd. or by visiting their Amazon wishlist at https://buff.ly/3tsEkn.
All Neighborhood Places will be open during inclement weather unless the Mayor designates all Metro offices closed. All Neighborhood Places will, however, be closed Monday, Jan. 15 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.
Residents inquiring about LG&E utility disconnections for non-payment, please contact the Bridges of Hope Neighborhood Place at 502-634-6050. For a list of Neighborhood Place sites, phone numbers, etc., contact Metro311 or 502-574-5050 or visit louisvilleky.gov/neighborhoodplace.
The Senior Nutrition program, which includes Congregate Sites and Meals On Wheels, will close if JCPS moves to Non-Traditional Instruction. All clients of home-delivered food will be notified of any closures or changes on the day of their delivery, and accommodations for emergency deliveries or alternative delivery days can be made. We will resume our normal operations following any temporary closures due to inclement weather.
Louisville Metro Police Department
During severe weather conditions, LMPD will respond to motor vehicle collisions when there is a report of injury, or the roadway is blocked. LMPD asks motorists to exchange information such as names, addresses, and auto insurance. LMPD also requests that motorists go to the following link https://www.louisville-police.org/337/Report-an-Accident to report a non-injury accident.
The Louisville Zoo is scheduled to be open to the public during normal business hours on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15. In the event the Zoo needs to close due to inclement weather, that decision will be announced on Louisville Zoo’s website at LouisvilleZoo.org and its social media accounts.
Sidewalks In the event of snow and ice, homeowners are reminded that they are responsible to shovel the sidewalk in front of a house they own or rent within a timely matter of 24 hours. This includes keeping the area free of all overhanging trees, shrubs, and other debris that block walkways.
Louisville Parks and Recreation will open sledding hills in six local parks (Cherokee, Joe Creason, George Rogers Clark, McNeely Lake, Tyler, and Charlier Vettiner parks) for kids and adults to enjoy from 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. on days when the snow accumulation reaches 2-3 inches. For locations, rules and safety tips, visit www.bestparksever.com.
During winter weather, TARC aims to maintain regular scheduled service as long as it is considered safe to do so. This is to keep vital transportation options open for the community. Winter weather detours are based on the current conditions of the road and the TARC team closely monitors the situation when winter weather moves into the area. When it becomes necessary to implement detours due to winter weather, TARC will communicate the detours via TARC’s website and social media channels, text and email alerts to subscribers, and via news advisories to the region’s press outlets. Detours will last only as long as they are necessary to maintain the safety of TARC riders and the community. Community members who want to receive text or email alerts from TARC can subscribe at https://www.ridetarc.org/alerts/. While waiting for the bus, TARC urges riders to bundle up with layers and cover exposed skin to avoid hypothermia and frostbite.
Safety is LG&E’s top priority. Customers and the general public are reminded to stay away from downed wires, treat them as energized power lines and call LG&E at (502) 589-1444 to make them aware of the location. LG&E customers can use the utility’s mobile app to keep an eye on the LG&E and KU outage map, report an outage and keep track of weather conditions. The app is accessible from the Apple and Google stores.
Louisville Water reminds homeowners to take precautions to help prevent their pipes from freezing and bursting – wrap exposed pipes with an insulating material, locate and tag your water shutoff valve, cover crawl spaces and outside vents, keep garage doors closed, and run a small steady stream of water from a cold-water faucet to keep the water flowing. It’s a good idea to turn off any outside faucets. A majority of the time, frozen water service lines happen on the customer’s property and Louisville Water cannot help. Proactive maintenance before the frigid temperatures is important.
All Louisville Metro Government (LMG) buildings (libraries, community centers) that are normally open to the public will be open as warming centers during their normal business hours. Please note that LMG buildings will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.