Blowing snow creates hazardous conditions

(Provided Photo, file/Madison County EMA)
(Provided Photo, file/Madison County EMA)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – UPDATE 9:10 P.M.: Police dispatchers in counties around Central Indiana said roads remained slick and drifting snow was still an issue on Saturday night.

Police said they were busy throughout the day with slide offs, weather-related crashes, and stranded motorists.

Most of the state has travel restrictions in place. To check a travel status map and what a travel warning, watch and advisory means click here.

UPDATE 4:16 P.M.: Hamilton County’s travel status has been elevated to an Orange Travel Watch.

During a Travel Watch only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations, a release said. Conditions are considered threatening to the public.

If you are stranded or need help call police dispatch in the county at 317-773-1282 or 911 for an emergency.

To check a travel status map and what a travel warning, watch and advisory means click here.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for the northern part of the state until Monday. A winter weather advisory will go into effect for Central Indiana at 4 a.m. on Sunday. Stay with the Forecast 8 Weather Blog for updates.

UPDATE 3:55 P.M.: A number of roads in Rush County were being shut down Saturday afternoon because of deteriorating conditions.

Police dispatchers in the county say part of SR 3 South, near 450 South, was being closed because of a stuck plow truck. Other road closures included SR 244, SR 44 East and SR 3 North. Officials in the county say they have responded to a number of calls involving motorists getting stuck on the side of roadways.

The cold also caused power outages around the area. A spokesperson with Indianapolis Power and Light Company said strong winds caused some residents to  be without power. Crews were working to repair those outages. IPL also said they have crews coming in in case the winds and cold cause more outages.

UPDATE 3:20 P.M.: Madison County EMA officials say drifting snow and white out conditions have caused road conditions in the county to deteriorate.

“Road conditions are dangerous for motorists right now,” stated Tom Ecker, Executive Director of Madison County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.

UPDATE 3 P.M.: Police dispatchers in counties under a Red Travel Warning said they have been very busy.

Clinton County dispatchers responded to a number of calls on Saturday where people were stranded on the side of the road. Police also said an ambulance got stuck in a snow drift earlier, but no patient was on board. Dispatchers also said they responded to a lot of slide offs.

Police in Tipton County said US 31 was a near white out shortly before 3 p.m. Roads were covered in ice. Dispatchers said officers had just finished clearing a 10-car crash and were working a 4-car crash. There were no serious injuries reported.

Miami County authorities had to shut down US 31 for a while because of conditions, but the roadway has since reopened. Slide offs were an issue around the county.

Jay County dispatchers reported snow covered roads. Authorities in Randolph County say slide offs had been reported throughout the day, and white out conditions would come and go.

UPDATE 2:20 P.M.: Randolph County issued a travel warning for all roads in the county because of blowing and drifting snow.

According to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, this means that travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. During a warning local travel advisory, individuals are directed to:

  • (A) refrain from all travel;
  • (B) comply with necessary emergency measures;
  • (C) cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency operations plans; and
  • (D) obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers

Randolph County also initially signed a Disaster Declaration.

To check a travel status map and what a travel warning, watch and advisory means click here.

UPDATE 1:42 P.M.: A crash involving 10 vehicles was reported in Madison County on Saturday afternoon.

Madison County EMA tweeted that SR 9 northbound would be closed at SR 128 because of the crash. Police dispatchers in the county said the crash involved 10 vehicles and involved at least one injury.

UPDATE 1 P.M.: One south lane of I-69 in Grant County was reopened after six to eight cars – including semis – crashed between the 268 and 269 mile markers.

Authorities in Boone County said all roads in the county were snow covered, slick and hazardous. County and state highway crews were working to clear and open roads, but roads were still becoming impassable.

I-65 was also re-opened in Boone County after several semis jackknifed earlier on Saturday.

To check a map that shows a county by county breakdown of travel statuses click here.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: Indiana State Police dispatch says somewhere between six and eight cars crashed and slid off the road on Interstate 69 south between mile markers 268 and 269 in Grant County. Two of those vehicles were semis and they jackknifed. It was originally reported as a 13-car pile up but that was not the case. I-69 south was shut down to clean up the crashes.

Officials say no injuries were reported. They are not sure how long the highway will be closed.

Five counties are now under a travel warning, which means drivers should refrain from all travel. Those counties are: Miami, Wabash, Jay, Randolph and Decatur.

UPDATE 11 A.M.: I-65 north is closed at the Thorntown exit in Boone County due to a semi crash. The semi is blocking all north lanes.

UPDATE 10:35 A.M.: A Winter Weather Advisory was extended until 1 p.m. for most central Indiana counties.

A crash with a person trapped inside a vehicle closed Interstate 74 east at the 48 mile marker.

UPDATE 10 A.M.: The snow has tapered off but the wind will still be gusty, which means blowing snow will be a problem throughout the day.

Wind will stay in the 15-25 mph range through early evening, so blowing snow will be a threat until mid-evening. Winds will settle down to single digits around midnight.

Temperatures will climb into the upper 20s by noon, then colder air will rush in this afternoon and evening. Temps will drop into the teens this afternoon, then single digits by this evening. Wind chill values will drop below zero by late evening as well.

UPDATE 8:30 A.M.: Miami Co. is now under a red travel advisory, which means travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. Sheriff Tim Miller says all county roads should be considered as closed due to drifting snow, which had made driving on those roads nearly impossible.

UPDATE 8 A.M.: Interstate 65 north between Franklin and Edinburgh was reopened around 8 a.m. Police dispatch says 4 semis jackknifed on the highway, which caused the highway to shut down around 6 a.m.

One lane of I-65 north at the 142 mile marker in Lebanon was shut down after a semi rolled over.

UPDATE:7:30 A.M.: All counties in central Indiana were reporting hazardous road conditions. They say roads were snow covered with heavy drifting. Indiana Department of Homeland Security reports 31 counties were under an orange travel status. Click here for the County Travel Status Map.

UPDATE 6:30 A.M.: Interstate 65 north from Franklin to Edinburgh was shut down Saturday morning due to several jackknifed semis. That’s between mile markers 80 to 87. The highway was shut down around 6 a.m. Police dispatch says they don’t know how long the highway will be shut down.

UPDATE: 5:30 A.M.: 23 Indiana counties are under an orange travel watch, which means only essential travel is recommended. The following counties are under a travel watch: Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Pulaski, White, Carroll, Miami, Clinton, Tipton, Delaware, Randolph, Henry, Hancock, Rush, Decatur, Bartholomew, Jennings, Switzerland, Jefferson, Scott, Washington, Sullivan and Posey.

A winter weather advisory that went into effect Friday night will last through Saturday morning.

The Forecast 8 team expected snow to arrive late Friday night and continue into early morning Saturday.

There is a winter weather advisory in effect from 7 p.m. Friday until 10 a.m. Saturday.

2″-3″ of snow is likely by Saturday morning. Gusty winds may produce blowing and drifting snow overnight.

More snow is likely on Sunday. Behind Sunday’s snow bitter cold air returns for the first part of next week.

The Indiana Department of Transportation had crews out on roadways Friday night ahead of the snow. To check road conditions click here or call 800-261-ROAD (7623).

Miami County issued a Yellow Travel Advisory on Friday night. Tipton County moved to a travel status of Watch (orange). Authorities in the county said many county roads were drifting shut and would continue to decline as the weather moves in.

For a county by county breakdown of travel statuses and what they mean click here.

State health officials recommended Friday that Hoosiers take steps to plan for the cold to prevent health risks the extreme cold can present. For information about winter weather safety, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention click here or visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website here.

Check the Forecast 8 Weather Blog for updates.

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