Mayor provides update on city preparedness for winter storm
Mayor Greg Fischer today provided an update on the city’s preparedness for a winter storm that could bring snow, sleet, freezing rain and low temperatures to the area over the coming days. He was joined by Director of Emergency Services Jody Meiman, Director of Public Works Vanessa Burns and John Gordon with the National Weather Services.
The city is currently under a Winter Weather Advisory 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.
“We’re in contact with our partners at the National Weather Service, LG&E, Louisville Water, and our Snow and Emergency Services teams to prepare for incoming severe weather and to help keep residents safe,” said the Mayor. “They are prepared and stand ready to respond to any potential safety issues.”
The winter storm could result in slick and dangerous roadways, as well as potentially downed trees and power outages.
In preparation, the Snow Team has been treating roads since Monday, with crews working around the clock. The team has 200 people and 100 trucks prepared to respond to the event. Louisville began the snow season this year with 49,000 tons of salt on hand, which is believed to be the largest cache that Louisville Metro has had at the start of any snow season. To date, 9,000 tons of salt have been used during this winter season.
LG&E and KU continue to monitor the forecast and prepare accordingly. The LG&E and KU electric delivery system is built to withstand extreme conditions; however, ice poses one of the biggest threats to safety and the system. Ice accumulates and has the potential to bring down tree limbs, which in turn can bring down power lines and impact service to customers. It also poses dangers to crews working within the system.
LG&E reminds customers 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 or outages. Customers with registered accounts can also report outages online at lge-ku.com; by using Outage Texting; or by using the automated phone system.
Louisville Water offers cold weather tips to homeowners 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.
The Mayor and his team are in constant conversation with the Coalition for the Homeless and other partners to protect the city’s most vulnerable from harsh winter conditions.
Operation White Flag goes into effect when the temperature or wind chill is below 35 degrees. Salvation Army, since the beginning of the pandemic, has operated a Healthy Day Shelter location at their campus at 911 S. Brook Street with a 400-person capacity. No reservations are required.
The city’s Meals on Wheels frozen meal deliveries are being rescheduled. Seniors who pick up weekly meals were able to pick up additional meals last Friday in anticipation of inclement weather this week. Homebound seniors will be contacted by the Office of Resilience and Community Services staff for health check-ins and to check food supply.
Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) reminds pets owners that “if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them,” and they advise to bring pets inside. If pet owners are unable to do so, LMAS recommends pet owners make sure they have proper shelter, which should be insulated with the doorway properly covered and to check water bowls often and replace frozen water.
Often outside cats seek out car engines for warmth. LMAS recommends checking under the hood or make noise before starting your vehicle. To report a neglected pet or animal without proper shelter, call 502-473PETS, or submit a service request at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/animal-services.
The team at the LouVax site is monitoring the weather conditions. In the event that they need to cancel scheduled vaccine appointments due to weather, the LouVax team will make the call early and communicate widely. Those individuals scheduled for an appointment will receive an email from [email protected] inviting them to reschedule according to their availability.
“Please know that if we do have to cancel or postpone appointments due to weather, doses will be reserved for those who need to reschedule,” said the Mayor.
Mayor Fischer reminds all residents to stay safe and stay home, especially when road conditions are slick and icy.
Tips for driving on the snow and ice (AAA):
Stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.
Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
The city’s snow removal progress can be followed via an interactive online map. During snow events, a snow map will be posted on the city website, louisvilleky.gov, and the Department of Public Works website.