Monday February 2, 2009
Jefferson County Public Schools Closed Today
Updated at 5:00 a.m. on Monday, February 2
Utility crews are making significant progress in restoring power following this week’s severe ice storm, thanks in part to the warming weekend temperatures. As of 5 a.m. less than 56,000 LG&E customers are without power, down from 83,000 at the last update.(See Masthead/Service Connection Information and Safety)
Jefferson County Public Schools will be closed today. However schools will be back in session on Tuesday. Get the very latest from the JCPS website.
All Louisville Catholic schools will be open Monday except for St. Albert the Great Elementary and Holy Cross High School.
Pooling Water on Roadways
MSD has been busy clearing drainage grates along roadways to reduce flooding. If you need to report a hazardous situation due to flooding on our roadways, please call MSD at 587-0603.
“All parts of town are starting to see power again – and that’s great news,” Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “Street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, the city is starting to return to normal.”
The city also this weekend recorded another storm-related death – a 55-year-old man apparently poisoned by carbon monoxide early Saturday morning. He was using a charcoal grill inside his house at 4717 Poplar View Drive. A woman living in the house was taken to Jewish Hospital, also with carbon monoxide exposure.
Watch for falling ice
Abramson warned citizens today about another hazard – falling ice. As the temperature rises, ice turns into torpedoes.
“All over town today, I could see chunks of ice falling from trees and rooftops,” Abramson said. “People should look up and be aware when they’re outside the next few days.”
Wayside needs blankets, sleeping bags
Abramson encourages people and church groups to use Sunday to check in on neighbors – and to contact local shelters and agencies about their needs. One immediate need is at Wayside, which is seeing record number of people seeking shelter. Wayside needs blankets and sleeping bags
Carbon monoxide poisoning
The potential for more carbon monoxide poisoning has emergency response officials concerned. The city is working with local hardware stores and the postal carriers to help spread the word about how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. A special outreach effort is being made toward Spanish speakers.
Carbon monoxide is deadly, and when it has collected in a high concentration, it can incapacitate an adult within seconds, said Fire Chief Gregory Frederick
“Under no circumstances should people bring their grills indoors, either to cook on or for heat,” Frederick said.
Dr. Neal Richmond, head of Emergency Medical Services, said carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms mimic a host of other illnesses.
“People may think they are just tired, or are coming down with the flu or a cold,” he said.
“But the carbon monoxide will be fatal if people don’t act quickly when they feel those symptoms coming on.”
Many people may have carbon monoxide detectors in their home, but they tend to be a plug-in variety – which makes them worthless in a power outage, Richmond noted.
Red Cross shelter at Iroquois High School
Red Cross now has two shelters in Louisville.
At the Walnut Street Baptist Church location, 180 stayed overnight yesterday.
At the Iroquois High School location, five were house yesterday.
Both shelters will remain open until people no longer need places to stay.
Two suburban cities — Jeffersontown and Shively — also opened shelters today -- the Jeffersontown Senior Center, at 10631 Watterson Trail, has 25 beds and the Shively City Hall, at 3920 Dixie Highway, has 50 beds. And, Southeast Christian Church has opened a shelter at its campus on Blakenbaker Parkway that can house 300.
Fairdale Lions Club providing soup
The Fairdale Lions Club, on Mitchell Hill Rd., is serving soup. Contact Pam Shofner 387-4375 for more information.
Dare to Care offering food
The Dare to Care food bank and the city’s Community Action Partnership are offering packages of food to families in need. Call MetroCall, 311, to request the food.
YMCA opens facilities for showers
The YMCA of Louisville has opened its facilities for people who wish to take showers. There is no charge. The Y has several branches across the city. Call the Y to determine the nearest location. The Mary T. Meagher pool in Crescent Hill is also open, free of charge, for people wishing to shower.
Do not call city to report bent trees; they will likely recover
Public Works Director Ted Pullen urged citizens to only call MetroCall, 311, and report trees that have broken or are downed. He noted that many trees which are simply bent by the weight of the ice will likely recover.
Roads crews are continuing to plow and salt as needed. This weekend, they will focus their attention on school routes, to ensure that those roads and streets are ready to handle buses Monday morning.
Replacement food stamps
People can apply for replacement food stamps at Neighborhood Place locations across the city.
Airport operating on normal schedule
The airport is open and operating as normal, with only one flight cancellation this morning. Passengers should call their airline prior to departing for the airport to determine if their flight is operating as scheduled. Passengers may also access FlyLouisville.com and click on flight status.
Sledding in city parks dangerous
Metro Parks is strongly discouraging any recreational use of our parks, including sledding hills, because of the dangers posed by falling trees, hanging limbs, icy conditions and downed power lines. Metro Parks crews are currently focusing their efforts on clearing city streets, rather than opening parks
Shelters offer food, cots
Several other shelters are operating in addition to the Red Cross shelter at Walnut Street Baptist.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 1026 S. Jackson Street
Healing Place – Men's Shelter, 1020 W Market St. 585-4848
Women's Shelter, 1607 W Broadway 568-6680
- must be over 18
- must be sober
- no family accommodations
- No one turned away, but beds fill quickly. Once beds fill, they have mats and chairs
Salvation Army – 831 S Brook St., 625-1170
- can accommodate all homeless
- includes families - although man in family may not be able to stay with rest of family
Wayside – Men’s Shelter, 432 E Jefferson, 584-3711 (answered 24/7 - call for all info)
Tips for Coping with the Cold
Tips for Staying Warm & Dry from the Louisville Metro Health & Wellness
- Wear layers of cotton and wool clothing to help insulate the body
- Slacks are warmer than dresses or skirts. Long socks and leotards will protect the legs.
- Mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves.
- Don’t drink alcohol when outside during extreme cold temperatures.
- Be careful shoveling snow. Overexertion may lead to a heart attack. The signs of a heart attack include chest or arm pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, pain, sweating, and dizziness.
- Stock your vehicle with blankets, a flashlight, a tin of food that requires no cooking, jumper cables, and a sack of sand.
- Make sure you have adequate fuel in your tank before the trip.
Tips from the Louisville Water Co to prevent 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.
- Locate your inside water shut-off valve. If pipes burst during freezing conditions, you can save valuable time and prevent water damage if you can turn the water off inside the house. 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. If you cannot locate or do not have a shut-off valve, call a plumber.
- If you think you’ve found the shut-off valve, and to be sure it’s the right one, try turning it off. If all your faucets are without water, you’ve found the right one. If not, try again.
- Once you locate the shut-off valve, place a waterproof tag over it, so it's easy for you and your family members to find if there's ever a problem.
- 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. The cost of the water is small compared to dealing with the cost and inconvenience of frozen or burst pipes. Make sure you run the water from a faucet children don’t use — they may inadvertently shut off the faucet after using it.
City managers are concerned about the formation of black ice on roads. Black ice is a thin glaze of ice that forms on streets and is nearly undetectable to drivers. The ice often forms after snow melts and re-freezes, or after a period of freezing rain.
“Drivers may think the pavement just appears wet and they’ll drive at regular speed, then lose control when their tires hit a patch of that thin ice,” said Lt. Doug Sweeney of the LMPD Traffic Unit.
A four-wheel drive vehicle is no advantage when driving on ice. “You’re just as likely to spin out in your 4x4 truck as in a rear-wheel drive vehicle,” said Sweeney. “We’re urging drivers to slow down tonight and keep a considerable distance between your vehicle and other cars.”
Tips for Driving in Icy Conditions, from Police Traffic unit
- Be aware of where ice may form: icy patches are likely on bridges, overpasses, ramps and curves.
- Give yourself plenty of space between your vehicle and other nearby vehicles.
- Allow extra time to stop.
- Observe other vehicles in front of you – if you notice cars swerving for no apparent reason, it’s likely due to black ice.
- Shift into a lower gear to give yourself more traction and control.
- Test for icy patches in a safe place like a parking lot. Wiggle the tires a bit and see if you notice a change in the feel of the pavement.
- When slowing down, use short, rapid application of the brakes.
- If you skid, stay calm and turn your wheel slowly in the same direction as the skid.