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Mayor Fischer, Louisville officials provide update on winter weather

The Director of Louisville Metro Emergency Services said 83 non-emergency crashes were reported between 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Thursday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and other local officials provided an update Thursday afternoon on the winter weather hitting the area.

The mayor said the city is in Level 1 alert status, which means officials are tracking the weather and are ready to respond accordingly. The top concerns for Thursday into Friday are dangerous road conditions, the potential of downed power lines and the extreme cold.

Forecast

John Gordon with the National Weather Service described the weather as a "two-pronged event." The snow that started early Thursday afternoon is expected to taper off sometime between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Areas south of Louisville will get more accumulation. 

RELATED: Winter Weather Updates: Officials urge drivers to stay off the roads as conditions worsen across Kentucky

Once the snow is over, Gordon said temperatures are expected to drop below freezing with a wind chill around zero degrees. This weekend, rain is in the forecast, which could lead to the potential for flooding if snow is still on the ground.

Road Crews

Metro Public Works Director Vanessa Burns said crews have been working since Tuesday to prepare for this weather event and will continue working through Friday. She urged anyone on the roads to drive slowly and give plenty of space to the Public Works trucks clearing the roads.

Burns said the department's top concern is clearing the snow off of the roads before temperatures drop tonight because what remains could turn to ice. Crews are laying down a combination of rock salt and calcium chloride, which will turn the leftover snow into slush and keep it from freezing.

Traffic and safety

The snowfall early Thursday lead to several traffic issues across metro Louisville. According to Emergency Services Director Jody Meiman, 83 non-emergency accidents were reported between 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. In comparison, Meiman said three crashes were reported during that same time Wednesday.

He also said dispatchers are receiving an overabundance of 911 calls Thursday. If someone calls and is placed in a queue, Meiman said the caller should remain on the line rather than calling back, because they could unintentionally hold up two dispatchers.

Shelter

Mayor Fischer said the city will start Operation White Flag due to the low temperatures expected Thursday night. During this time, anyone in need of shelter will be accepted at the following locations:

  • Wayside Christian Mission
  • St. Vincent de Paul (men only)
  • Salvation Army day shelter

Anyone with questions about shelter can call the Single Point of Entry line at 502-637-2237.

Jeremy Harrell with Veteran's Club Inc. said the organization will be distributing items including blankets, coats and sleeping bags to people living without homes in downtown Louisville Friday morning.

Other safety reminders

Mayor Fischer also reminded the public to care for their pets during the cold weather. If you see an animal that has been left in the cold, you are asked to call Louisville Metro Animal Services.

Louisville officials also reminded the public about these Weather Safety tips:

  • Stay off the roads
  • Stay indoors and dress warm
  • Prepare for power outages
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows
  • Listen for information and emergency alerts
  • Sign up for community notification system
  • Know the signs for hypothermia and frostbite
  • Check on neighbors, especially the elderly
  • Know your specific area’s risk for severe weather
  • Stock your emergency supply kit
  • Keep your pets indoors as much as possible

For the latest updates on the weather, visit the WHAS11 StormTeam forecast.

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