News release from INDOT:
Plow-Truck Deployment Continues through Tonight’s Storm
High Winds, Snow Squalls May Make Tuesday’s Commute Difficult
Winter weather has finally taken hold in Indiana. As of 9 a.m., the Indiana Department of Transportation continues to have 285 yellow plow trucks deployed across Indiana as crews prepare for the next winter storm, which will enter the state from the northwest this afternoon.
In northern Indiana, up to 4 inches of new snow is predicted and the National Weather Service office in Fort Wayne has declared a Winter Storm Watch for Elkhart, LaGrange, St. Joseph and Steuben counties. An additional 1 to 3 inches of snow is forecast across central Indiana, and southern Indiana may see up to two inches of new snow.
INDOT maintenance supervisors continue to monitor evolving local forecasts and adjust their call-out of yellow plow trucks to address changes in forecasted and observed road conditions. Trained drivers are on call to staff plow trucks around the clock with alternating shifts of 12 hours or more.
Wind gusts cause blowing, drifting
Winds gusting up to 35 mph combined with the predicted fluffy nature of the new snow will reduce visibility for drivers. INDOT crews will take steps to minimize the amount of blowing snow that sticks or drifts onto cleared highways.
In addition, the National Weather Service is predicting intense snow squalls in some areas that increase the chances for multi-vehicle crashes. INDOT urges drivers to reschedule optional trips as road conditions will be the worst this evening through tomorrow morning. In particular, the NWS office in Indianapolis is predicting a difficult Tuesday morning commute with conditions similar to those on Sunday.
If you must venture out, below are driving tips to improve visibility and safety:
- Before you depart, fully clear off your front and rear windshields and side mirrors.
- Choose direct routes instead of longer trips on higher-speed roads and highways.
- If you see a snow squall ahead, immediately take your foot off the gas and turn off cruise control, especially on high-speed highways. No one should be traveling at interstate speeds during winter weather. Law enforcement will be writing citations for drivers going faster than conditions merit and putting others in harm’s way.
- Use your low-beam lamps if your vehicle is equipped.
- Increase following distance so you can barely see the taillights of any vehicles in front of you.
- Turn on emergency flashers if you are stopped or traveling slower than other vehicles.
- If you need to stop, try to exit or turn off the main highway. If you must stop on the shoulders, pull as far away from the travel lanes as possible.
- Regularly fill your gas tank and charge your mobile phone.
- Apply anti-lock brakes firmly. Pump brakes that are not anti-lock.
- Do not overcorrect with steering.
Know before you go
The state offers several resources that drivers can access to “know before you go”:
- Counties post travel advisories as new information is available to https://in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory or the Indiana Travel Advisory app for iPhone or Android.
- INDOT maintenance staff report color-coded winter driving conditions on INDOT’s TrafficWise map at https://indot.carsprogram.org. Road conditions are defined as Gray: Good, the road is clear; Blue: Fair, speed is reduced due to isolated patches of snow and ice; and Violet: Difficult or hazardous, speed is reduced due to snow and/or ice covered pavement.
- Find your regional INDOT district on Facebook and Twitter at https://in.gov/indot/3074.htm.