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Metro Newsroom

Louisville Metro Prepared For Hurricane Aftermath

Monday August 29, 2005

Mayor Jerry Abramson today detailed Louisville Metro Government’s preparations for potential localized flooding from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The storm is expected to bring several inches of rain and high winds to Louisville tonight and tomorrow.
Metropolitan Sewer District employees will be working on extended shifts over the next two days to keep the city’s sanitary pumping stations working and to clear debris from major culverts.

The heavy rains may cause localized flooding in low-lying neighborhoods, but the Ohio River is at low levels and is not expected to reach flood stage, said Bud Schardein, MSD’s executive director.

Louisville is better protected against flooding because of the on-going investments in Project DRI, the drainage response initiative that Abramson launched in 2003 to resolve long-standing neighborhood drainage problems. So far, MSD has completed more than 300 drainage improvements as part of the $120 million effort.

Public Works employees are prepared to clear trees and limbs from roadways, and crews have already begun placing barricades near viaducts and underpasses that most frequently flood during heavy rains.

The locations prone to flooding include: 

· 7th St. and Davies
· 600 West Hill Street
· Floyd and Hill streets
· 4th and Colorado streets
· 3rd St. and Eastern Parkway
· Six Mile and Breckenridge lanes

The mayor encouraged residents to make sure catch basins on their streets remain clear of debris. And he asked people to call MetroCall at 311 if they see a flooded underpass that is not barricaded.

“No one should attempt to drive over roads covered with water, especially at an underpass or viaduct,” Abramson said.
Swift-water rescue team headed to Louisiana One of Louisville Metro’s five swift-water rescue teams will head to Baton Rouge, La., later today to help with massive flooding from Hurricane Katrina.

About 30 firefighters from nine suburban departments will take three of the nine boats stationed at urban and suburban fire departments in Louisville Metro, said Gary Yurt, president of Jefferson County Fire Chiefs Association and chief of Worthington Fire Department. That leaves four teams of 45 firefighters and six boats to deal with any response needs in the Louisville area.

The team is preparing to leave from the Okolona Fire Station, 8501 Preston Highway, around 4 p.m.