The good news: the National Weather Service is predicting temperatures in Louisville will begin climbing slightly on Sunday, with highs reaching into the middle 30s and on Monday into the low 40s. The bad news: until then, we’re stuck with high temperatures barely making it out of the upper teens.
City officials are offering tips to help residents stay warm during the current cold snap.
Officials are advising residents to stay indoors, keep dry by changing wet clothing and to watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia — including loss of feeling in fingers, toes or ears, disorientation, uncontrollable shivering and memory loss.
Diane Vogel with Louisville Emergency Medical Services said there were 15 calls for cold-related emergencies last week. She said residents should monitor older neighbors and the homeless.
“Extreme ages ranges, they’re more susceptible to the temperatures, so we really worry about those,” Vogel said. “Go get their mail for them, help them do those types of things. Because it is very, very cold out, and they will get cold quickly.”
Programs such as White Flag and LIHEAP are also prepared to help residents, offering shelter to homeless people when it’s cold and helping in-need residents pay for their utilities.
Chief Resilience Officer Eric Friedlander said the weather endangers many Louisville residents. He said cooperation between agencies is vital.
“When it’s a white flag night – as you say, when it’s below 32 – shelters will open up, allow people to come in that maybe even normally go over capacity,” Friedlander said. “Or if there’s some kind of barriers to coming in, those all come down so people can come off the street.”
Adam Hamilton with Metro Animal Services said his department’s received around 100 calls about dogs without shelter, and advised residents to keep their animals inside or put them in an insulated dog house with straw to keep warm.
Referred to as a “bomb-cyclone,” the winter blast and freezing temperatures have struck Kentucky and much of the eastern U.S. One of the state’s AAA offices reported a record number of service calls this year, and reports of near-freezing temperatures at Louisville’s jail made headlines.
Residents in need of warm clothes and other resources are advised to call Metro United Way 211, or go to the website for help.