DPW: Storm's timing hampered snow-clearing effort

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A full roster of snowplow crews wasn't enough to keep up with Thursday's snow.  

INDOT and the city's Department of Public Works told Eyewitness News the snow came too fast and at the worst time, during the morning rush hour.

Timing was everything for those enduring it.

"We just got back from Mexico last night," said Brian Lowery as he pumped gas in the frigid temperatures.

"It's cold. It was about 90 degrees and then we came back to, what was it, 20 degrees in 24 hours," he said.

INDOT and DPW said their crews were ready to go Wednesday and began pre-treating roadways and interstates before the snow fell.

The problem turned out to be how fast the snow fell on Thursday morning.

"We got huge amount of snow in a very short period of time during a high traffic period," said DPW's Lesley Gordon.

"We are locked into a full snow fight," said Gordon, referring to what's ahead. There's more snow expected Sunday, along with sub-zero temperatures.

For DPW, that will mean alternating 12-hour shifts for 90 drivers until the major roads are cleared.

Side streets will be a different story. The city has placed contract drivers on standby.

INDOT said they have a full call-out of trucks on the roadways through Sunday.

"You just have to drive slow, that's all you can do," said motorist James Evans.

Others, like Becky Owens, said she wasn't going out unless it was necessary.

"As soon as I get home, I'm not going out the rest of the day. Probably won't go out until we have the rest of the snow coming in on Saturday or Sunday," she said.

For drivers like Brian Lowery, a return trip to Mexico is looking better and better. "I told my wife this morning, I think we need to go back," said Lowery, laughing.

With more snow expected this weekend, Governor Mike Pence issued this statement Thursday:

"Winter storms like this one make travel a challenge for all our citizens. Hoosier motorists may be assured that the State of Indiana will continue to monitor the road conditions and weather and will respond with all available resources. As winter weather continues throughout much of the state, we also encourage drivers in affected areas to stay safe by avoiding unnecessary travel and making way for plow trucks and crews on the roads."