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How Louisville is preparing for winter; Salt, snow routes, road safety

Officials say Louisville will begin the snow season with 38,000 tons of salt on hand, which is around average for the beginning of most winters in the city.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — You may not be ready for it, but the city is ready for snow.

City officials gathered on Thursday to outline preparations for the upcoming 2022-23 snow season. 

Mayor Greg Fischer's press office says Louisville will begin the snow season this year with 38,000 tons of salt on hand, which is around average for the beginning of most winters for the Metro. 

Officials say most of the salt will be stored underground in the Louisville Mega Cavern, while about 17,500 tons are stored at four above-ground locations, where the salt will be loaded onto spreading vehicles as needed. 

In the 2021-22 snow season, Metro snow fighters responded to nine "significant wintry weather events", officials say, using about 18,000 tons of salt on Louisville's snow routes.

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Snow routes include arterial and collector roads, bus routes and roads to major employers and emergency facilities, officials said.

“During a snow event, our crews cover nearly 600 lane miles of roadway in Jefferson County and work to ensure interstates are clear and safe for travel,” Matt Bullock, KYTC district 5 chief district engineer, said. “Our snow fighters are prepared and ready to respond anytime winter weather impacts our area.”

The mayor's press office says the city will continue to pretreat roads with brine ahead of snowfalls when appropriate. 

When it comes to helping residents combat winter fires and indoor home safety, Major Bobby Cooper, with the Louisville Fire Department, says, “It’s important for the community to play a key role in keeping their home, families and neighbors safe. Simple safety precautions like maintaining home heating equipment, using space heaters and generators with caution, and replacing batteries in smoke alarms can help ensure a warm and safe winter.”  

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In fact, Cooper says now is the time to start checking those smoke detectors.

"But most importantly again I come back to working smoke detectors. We know they save lives and we'll put those up for free for you just by calling 311," he said.

Cooper also says everyone should have the LENSAlert on their phones.

"Lens alert allows you to get notifications of alerts like significant weather events that are approaching road closures, so we encourage people to sign up for LENSAlert from Metro government and Metro Safe," he said.

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