Cold weather creates challenges around WAVE Country

Cold weather creates challenges around WAVE Country
Cary Willis' eyelashes froze during his morning run. (Source: Cary Willis)
Cary Willis' eyelashes froze during his morning run. (Source: Cary Willis)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The new year is bringing frigid temperatures to parts of WAVE country. The cold snap has many people putting on layers and bringing in outdoor animals, but it's also creating a few challenges for people around the region.

A person was rescued early Tuesday morning in bone-chilling temperatures.

A homeless person who stowed away on a coal barge was found suffering from extreme cold exposure when crews arrived around 1 a.m., according to the New Albany Fire Department. The victim was removed from the barge and taken in for treatment.

Ice sits on parts of the Ohio River in Louisville; those levels of cold are rare in the area.

Tuesday morning, with temperatures sitting around zero, Cary Willis decided to brave the cold and go for his usual run around the neighborhood.

"My eyelids were actually getting heavy, you know," Willis said. "And I thought, it must be freezing, it must be ice on there."

He came inside to find little icicles frozen onto his eyelashes.

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"It did, it melted within a few seconds so I had to grab that picture right away," Willis said.

It's even been too cold for some cars to run.

"This, I can honestly say, is one of our busiest days so far," said Lynda Lambert, AAA Media Spokesperson and Safety Advisor.

AAA reported the West Central Kentucky region clocked more than 1,000 calls by 2 p.m. Tuesday, most for battery-related issues. They need all hands on deck in the call centers and the tow trucks to help respond to issues with the cold snap.

"Any AAA approved auto repair facility and they have tow trucks? They're out on the roads," Lambert said.

Cleaning off that car will have to wait for a warmup. Classie Car Care and Express Lube closes down when the temperature is under 22 degrees. Otherwise, everything seems to freeze.

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"Our air compressors, the hoses we use to spray out the cars and stuff, they've already in certain spots expanded and frozen," Ally Willen, an administrative assistant at Classie Car Care, said. "We've had to replace I think six of them just in the last week."

But the demand from customers to clean off their cars is staying high. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, the number of calls coming in was higher than the temperature outside.

"23, I keep a marking so the owner knows," Willen said.

With all this cold air, there's just one thing missing.

"I wish it would snow," Willis said. "If it's going to be this cold, go ahead and snow!"

With so many calls for roadside assistance coming in, AAA said it could be a while before help arrives. They recommend packing up or buying a roadside kit with jumper cables, an extra set of gloves and a hat as well as a blanket.

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