Businesses prepare for severe cold - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Businesses prepare for severe cold

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The frigid weather that is coming to Louisville late in the weekend means extra work for some local businesses, big and small.

At Jim Lehrer's Brownsboro Road Hardware and Paint store Lehrer says he has plenty of stock of what he calls the three S's: salt, shovels and sleds.

He knows a thing or two about bitterly cold weather.

"I was born in Wisconsin and I know a little about winter and ice," he said.

His store has plenty of winter items, so customers can safely make it through the next several days.

One corner of the store is filled with not only shovels and sleds, but also plenty of de-icing products.

"We always try to stay in stock with those key items -- especially ice melt," he said. "We go through lots of that product during the winter months. We use three different suppliers to stay in stock."

Lehrer also recommends that people buy a carbon monoxide detector in this kind of weather, since the furnace and water heater will be operating more frequently during periods of extreme cold weather.

He says customers began to stock up on winter supplies, especially on Thursday as the evening winter storm approached and caused traffic backups during the afternoon rush hour.

He adds, "Last night, we had a lot of traffic issues out on the roads, and people came in the store to buy all kinds of products, and I think anticipation of what is coming on Sunday and Monday...we will be busy all weekend."

Also expecting to be busy are the employees at Tom Drexler Plumbing on Bardstown Road.

"We have handheld heat guns we use to thaw frozen pipes," said Tony Hommrich, the company's service manager.

He and his fellow workers are preparing for the cold weather rush by checking their fleet of trucks to make sure they have all the equipment to deal with broken water pipes, which are a major problem when the temperature plummets.

"We prepare by having enough staff on duty and having equipment ready to tackle the problems the cold weather causes," said Hommrich.

And Louisville's largest employer, UPS, is also getting ready for the extreme cold.

"Starting over the weekend we'll move to the inside some of our equipment that is normally outside so it doesn't freeze and we will have our de-icing operation in full gear for all of our aircraft," said UPS spokesman Jeff Wafford.

He adds that the company is trying to get the word out to employees who work outside to make sure they have an extra layer or two of clothing and that they stay hydrated.

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