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Metro Newsroom

Suburban Cities Open Shelters; 172,000 Homes Remain Without Power

Friday January 30, 2009

See list of available Community Centers

Two suburban cities — Jeffersontown and Shively — have opened shelters to help families stay warm; meanwhile 2,350 utility crews are now aiding in the recovery effort, surpassing the number who worked during last year’s wind storm.

The Jeffersontown Senior Center, at 10631 Watterson Trail, has 25 beds and the Shively City Hall, at 3920 Dixie Highway, has 50 beds. The shelters are being operated by the suburban cities governments.

As of 10 a.m. today, 172,000 LG&E customers were without power in the Louisville metro area. That’s down from the peak of 205,000 yesterday.

Chris Hermann, LG&E Senior Vice President, said another 900 wires were reported down yesterday and overnight, so the number of people without power continues to fluctuate. Since the ice storm began, 11,400 wires have been reported down.

The good news, Hermann said, is that only 46 circuits are now down, compared to 52 yesterday. LG&E, which already has a staging area the state fairgrounds, is opening another staging after for crews arriving today. It will be at Churchill Downs.

Hermann said the 2,350 crew members have surpassed the 2,322 people working to restore power in Louisville during the wind storm last year.

LG&E is in discussion with other utilities to bring in additional crews this weekend and next week.

More carbon monoxide poisoning reported overnight

At least four more people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning overnight, including one family who brought a charcoal grill inside to cook food and keep warm.

Fire Chief Gregory Frederick again reminded people to be careful with alternate heating sources.

“If you are going to burn a fireplace, make sure you have someone check the chimney first,” he said. “And if you are using a generator, make certain it’s kept outside.”

Red Cross Shelters houses 205 overnight

The Red Cross shelter at Walnut Street Baptist Church in Old Louisville had 205 residents sleeping overnight. The shelter has added beds and can now accommodate 400. The Red Cross and city plan to open additional shelters, if needed.

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 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.

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 Army831 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.

· 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.

Black Ice

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.