Local, county agencies team together, prepare for wintry mix
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - More than a half dozen local and county agencies teamed together Tuesday to ensure if freezing rain turned to ice, they would be prepared to help keep Kentuckians and southern Hoosiers safe.
Inside the MetroSafe Emergency Communications headquarters downtown, everyone from school officials to road and utility crews banded together Tuesday morning. Their goal: keep everyone safe. Doing so, however, would prove to be a massive undertaking requiring an equally massive collaborative effort.
"We are prepared for this event," said Tom Wright, KYTC District 5 Engineering Maintenance Branch Manager. "We will have contractors, hopefully, sitting on the side of the road waiting for this event to get started to ensure that the traveling public gets home safely this evening."
"When the storm rolls in, when it does change over to ice, we'll have all 160 of our snow fleet trucks staged and ready to roll," said Louisville Metro Public Works Assistant Director Greg Hicks. "We'll be rolling through these 2,700 two lane miles that we treat."
From the roads to the schools, agencies had plans in place to combat icy conditions.
"The decision was made to have a two-hour, early dismissal," said JCPS Chief Operations Officer Mike Raisor. "At JCPS the safety of our kids is always our primary concern and we couldn't risk an event similar to what happened last weekend at Atlanta."
Despite the threat of icy conditions leading to power outages, utility crews did not anticipate major issues.
"We don't expect to see any widespread events," said LG&E Communications Director Natasha Collins. "Of course though, we know that the forecast can continually change so we are continually monitoring the conditions."
Members of the Louisville Red Cross also planned to monitor conditions, vowing should unforeseen massive power outages take place, they would have help ready to respond.
"We have our volunteers on standby," said Kentuckiana Red Cross CEO Jennifer Adrio. "We're also making sure that our shelters are in place and having those on standby as needed."
While help will remain just a phone call away for most people, many agencies reminded keeping safe will require teamwork from the public. Care should be taken when dealing with power outages and storm debris.
"If you're using a generator," began Adrio, "make sure it's outside the home."
"Have preparedness kits ready that might consist of things like a flashlight or battery powered radio," began Collins, "and of course the batteries to keep those things going."
Following the above steps, can help keep families throughout the Metro safe as potentially dangerous winter weather hits the area once again.