Heavy snow impacts central Indiana roads, power

Slide off on I-69 in Fishers
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A winter storm left about 3.7 inches of snow in Indianapolis by 5:00 am Wednesday, with areas to the north with higher amounts.

The Winter Storm Warning and Advisory in effect overnight are now canceled.

Moderate snow stopped falling around 4:00 am. At 5:00 a.m. Indianapolis measured 3.6 inches, Plainfield 4, Fishers 4.5 and Muncie 5.5 inches.

Our SnowTeam 13 crew in Kokomo measured 6 inches of snow at State Road 26 and U.S. 31.

The snow is over, but gusty winds have caused blowing and drifting in rural and county roads. More than 280 districts were either closed or on a delay Wednesday. The weather will quickly improve with highs in the upper 30s and the 50s over the weekend.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security travel advisory map

Highways and county roads were slick and snow-covered in spots, leading to some crashes Tuesday evening and overnight.

Troopers were working a semi crash with no injuries at the 153 mile marker of westbound I-70 in Wayne County.

East-west roads like SR 44 in Fayette County experienced drifting to one lane in places as the snow moved east into Ohio. 

Three State Police vehicles were struck while investigating accidents in the span of an hour early this morning.

Trooper Brian Snyder was stopped in the left lane to investigate a slide-off on Interstate 65 north of the Franklin exit. He was sitting his vehicle when a passing semi-trailer struck the passenger side of his car.

Trooper Snyder was taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital with back and head pain. His injuries are not life-threatening. Snyder was the trooper investigating the Monday night fatal crash that occurred seven miles south of where his car was hit Wednesday.

ISP vehicles were also struck on I-74 at the 118 mile marker and on I-465 southbound at the 24 mile marker, both while investigating incidents. Neither of the troopers were injured.

In Carmel, companies were already planning ahead for Wednesday.

"We've already told our employees to call our number and see if we're going to open on time. We anticipate we will, but we may have a few people in a little late. Otherwise, life as normal in Indiana," said Terry Blake with CPR, a cell phone repair company.

Road crews in Fishers were hitting the high spots up and down 116th Street and Allisonville Road.

The snow didn't stop ice cream lovers who lined up at a stand in Fishers, despite the cold and snow Tuesday. But even they were thinking ahead to Wednesday morning's commute.

"Get up early," said one motorist. "Longer drive, put some extra things into the car."

From his car, in what looked like an early evening rush home, one driver said "the roads seem okay. It's been some good traffic going through. Don't feel it's holding up much as far as the conditions go."

It was steady and it was heavy when the snow came down in Lafayette Tuesday afternoon and evening.

"It's kind of a wet snow, so it's kind of one of those things, as long as you drive slow, stop early, you're going to be fine," said Monte Fields.

Plows and salt trucks hit the streets and highways during the storm, making way for what traffic was out there on the roads.

"I came off the interstate, off 65, so for me, the biggest challenge was the semis are still going pretty quick and when they pass you, throwing a lot of stuff your way, and just visibility at that point," Fields said.

Just off of Interstate 65, plows cleared convenience store parking lots for customers pulling off for a break. Many parking lots, though, were empty or close to it as the snow continued.

Just like those empty parking lots, the streets in Lafayette were pretty clear of drivers. People were just glad to be home, off the snowy roads, after dealing with the conditions earlier in the afternoon.

T.J. Dougherty was trying to get home after his shift at a Starbucks ended early because of weather.

"I'm driving downtown, so it'll probably be normally like 15 minutes, but I'm anticipating 30 minutes at least," Dougherty said.

Travelers who have called it for the night were anticipating more of the same come morning.

Travel watches, advisories

At least 16 counties across Indiana have issued local travel watches or advisories for motorists amid a winter storm hitting much of the Midwest.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security website said Grant and Franklin counties issued travel watches Tuesday night recommending only essential travel, such as commuting to or from work or in emergencies. Fourteen other counties by 9:30 p.m. EST had issued travel advisories saying routine travel might be restricted. Those 14 counties were Miami, Wabash, Adams, Tipton, Madison, Hancock, Shelby, Wayne, Fayette, Decatur, Jennings, Parke, Knox and Vanderburgh.

I-70 fatal crash

One person was killed in a crash on I-70 about a mile west of US 231 (Cloverdale exit). Police have not released details of the crash, but say a semi was involved around the 40 mile marker.

The westbound lanes of I-70 remained restricted to one lane while crews cleaned up the crash around 8:30 pm. All lanes reopened around 10 p.m.

Noblesville crash

No one was hurt in a single car slide off on 169th Street at Hazel Dell in Noblesville.

"It was scary just felt like I was on ice, it was really slippery," said driver Sarah Jones.

Her car slipped off the road into a pole bringing down the support wire and telephone line. Nobody was hurt in the crash.

Jones had advice for other drivers who need to venture out in Tuesday's snowy conditions.

"Drive slowly. Don't take back roads, take the main roads because they're shoveled off," she said.

Power outages

There have also been several reports of power outages across the region Tuesday evening. Widespread outages were reported in Bartholomew and Monroe counties, as well as the south side of Indianapolis and Bargersville in Johnson County.  After midnight, Decatur and Dearborn counties reported more than 1,000 outages combined.

Duke Energy outages
IPL outages

Boone County preparations

Crews got an early start pre-treating streets before the snow began.

Nick Parr is one of the guys tasked with making sure you can get to work in the morning. On Tuesday, he was out on the road along with the rest of the Boone County Highway Department.

"I'm actually a heavy equipment operator but I plow snow in the winter," Parr explained.

In Boone County, crews will spend the next 24 hours salting and plowing 800 miles of county roads. Parr has been over these roads many times this year.

"If it is a big event and we have a lot of snow then you could run 12 -14 hours straight, and then take a break," he said.

Before noon today he was putting salt down on intersections and mentally preparing for what could be a short night or one that goes on well into the night.

Lebanon and most of Boone County is right on the line for this snowstorm. Parr may be dealing with a few inches of snow or several inches along with ice.

It's been a long winter for his department. Parr is hoping this will be the last time he puts salt down in Whitestown - at least until next year.

See all watches and warnings here.

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