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Utility Crews Begin To Assess Damage, Work to Restore Power; Mayor Says Stay Off Roads

Wednesday January 28, 2009

Latest Update: January 28 / 12:15 p.m.

Metro Parks officials are strongly discouraging any recreational use of metro 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.

Maintenance and forestry crews are assisting with plowing roads and clearing trees.

Visit the Metro Parks website to learn more and get the latest updates.

As of 11 a.m., LG&E reported the snow and ice storm has left more than 100,000 customers without power across the city. (Visit LG&E's storm information page.)

Numerous roads are blocked by downed trees and driving conditions are dangerous.

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Abramson said during a news briefing this morning at MetroSafe. “People should not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.”

LG&E has 300 crews working to assess the damage and to restore power.

LG&E Senior Vice President Chris Hermann has asked other utilities to send crews to help restore power. That request, however, is hampered because the storm has left a wide path of destruction in the Midwest.

The neighborhoods most impacted by power loses are Shively, Kenwood, Fairdale, South Park, Okolona, the Highlands, St. Matthews and Crescent Hill. The American Red Cross has opened its shelter at 531 E. Chestnut and will open other shelters across the city as needed. People who need shelter should call the Red Cross at 589-4450.

Public Works crews will continue to plow the roads and apply salt through the day and evening. Once all roads are cleared, the crews will shift their energy toward removing downed trees from streets. Where possible, crews are using their plows to push small trees and limbs out of the street.

The airport is open, however there are numerous flight delays and cancellations. Passengers should call their airline prior to departing for the airport to determine if their flight is operating as scheduled. Passengers may also access www.flyLouisville.com and click on flight status.

The Louisville Water Co. is warning people that frozen and burst pipes could become a problem for homes without power. Water Co. President Greg Heitzman says people without power should either turn on their water to a pencil-sized trickle to keep them from freezing – or shut off the main water valve to the house.

“It’s better to be safe than to have a house-full of water,” he said.