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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Louisville Storm Response Fares Well; Community Prepares for Cold Weather

Thursday December 23, 2004

With Louisville Metro Government’s snow-response agencies “operating on all cylinders,” Mayor Jerry Abramson said the community has fared well thus far through the winter storm.

“In a storm of this significance, there are going to be difficulties and inconveniences,” Abramson said. “Our preparation and response has helped keep our major streets passable, and kept the city up and running.”

“We’re to the point now of continuing to focus on responding to the snow on the ground, but also preparing for the severe cold we expect overnight,” the mayor said at a briefing today with representatives of several Louisville Metro agencies that are involved in the storm response. Abramson flew into Louisville today after cutting his family vacation short. Highlights of the briefing include:
Louisville Metro roads crews are continuing around-the-clock work to clear streets. Priority roads, including those accessing hospitals, are passable. It is expected that work on secondary streets will begin this afternoon. Louisville Metro has 120 snow-fighting vehicles in its fleet. The state Transportation Department has 50 trucks working in the Louisville area and Metro Government contracts with an additional 60 private trucks.
Due to the volume of minor accidents, Louisville Metro Police are not responding to non-injury accidents. Motorists involved in a non-injury accident should exchange driver’s license, vehicle and insurance information, and within ten days visit police headquarters or a substation to fill out a delayed accident report.

Metro Agencies and Services

 Garbage Pickup – Today’s and tomorrow’s garbage pickup in the urban-services district will be rescheduled for Monday (for regular Thursday pickup residents) and Tuesday (for regular Friday pickup residents). Excess garbage that will not fit in the cart for the rescheduled pickup day may be placed in a bag next to the cart.
Recycling Pickup – Today’s and tomorrow’s recycling pickup in the urban-services district is cancelled. Recycling pickups will resume on regularly scheduled days beginning Monday. Staffed recycling centers that were previously scheduled to be closed today and tomorrow for the holiday will resumenormal schedules on Tuesday.

The following Louisville Metro facilities are closed:
Metro Parks Community Centers
Louisville Free Public Library Branches
Louisville Zoo
Health Department Clinics (scheduled to be closed for the holidays)

The Neighborhood Place at 810 Barrett Avenue is open.

Water Supply and Freezing Temperatures
In addition to frozen pipes at homes, the extreme cold poses a threat to water mains that feed large areas. The Louisville Water Company is taking the following action to prevent and respond to water main breaks:

Water temperatures are being monitored (currently about 43 degrees...but expected to dip to the 38-40 degree range by tomorrow. First-run responders have been increased. These are the individuals who respond to water breaks or outages, identify the problem, and call in repair crews.
Two distribution repair teams will be working 24/7 on Friday, Saturday and Monday. Customer service staffing has been increased through the Holiday weekend.

To report any water service problem: 569-3600.

Preventing Residential Water Lines from Freezing
Wrap exposed pipes with insulating material. Pipes under kitchen sinks and in crawl spaces, near windows or in unheated basements are prime areas for pipes to freeze.
If your house has a crawl space, cover outside vents to prevent winter winds from entering and freezing pipes.
If your house has a slab foundation, keep the garage door closed. Water pipes are often located under the concrete floors of the garage. If you’ve had problems with frozen pipes in the past, try running a small steady stream of water from a cold water faucet in extremely cold weather.
If pipes burst during freezing conditions, turn the water off inside the house at the main shut-off valve. The shut-off valve may be located in the basement, under the kitchen sink, in a utility closet, near the hot water heater, or even under the house in the crawl space.
Homeless Shelters

Operation White Flag is in effect at area homeless shelters. About 250 people were in the shelters last night. The Healing Place (men’s shelter) and Wayside Christian Mission still have room. If shelters fill up this evening, St. Vincent de Paul is set to open with overflow beds. For those who will not come to a shelter, the Samaritan Patrol is out delivering blankets, food, etc. At this moment, supplies are sufficient for that effort.