LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Metrosafe criticized following latest Rubbertown chemical leak


Metrosafe has come under fire again following the latest chemical leak at a Rubbertown plant. There are still problems with the Code Red emergency alert system.

Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott says, "It's not effective yet. We got to do better and for $150,000, taxpayers expect us to do better."

Metro Government invested in the Code Red emergency notification system after the fatal explosion at Carbide Industries two yeas ago. With 19 industrial plants in Rubbertown, the city needed a better way to let residents know about emergencies.

Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott says Sunday's hydrochloric acid leak at Dupont proved another failure: "I had people call me or leave a message said, I signed up to receive all the Code Red alerts and I did not receive this alert. I had people tell me they received it about an hour after they should have received it, folks who live across the street from the Dupont plant never received an alert at all. No one bothered to knock on their door. So we've got some issues that we need to work through."

Fire officials issued a precautionary shelter-in-place order for a one-mile radius. Metrosafe says Code Red sent four alerts to 1,800 phones.

Neighbor Janis Miller said, "Only reason we knew something happened was because of the ambulances and one said hazardous material." The reason Miller and many neighbors didn't know is because they're not signed up for Code Red.

Jody Miller of Metrosafe said, "So we're looking at things just a little bit differently to try and get more people involved in those Code Red safety messages."

Duncan says part of the problem is that neighborhoods are filled with rental properties. The agency is looking for ways to let new residents know about Code Red. Duncan says emergency alerts will now go out to all Rubbertown instead of a small affected region. He says, "We're trying to work with the community so we all know the information."

Councilwoman Scott wants more done. "That means the chemical plants need to take ownership. You're right across the street from folks. Why aren't you doing a door-to-door campaign saying. here's a tool that you can use to stay safe?"