High winds force Boone Co. crews, residents into waiting game


Police have issued travel watches and advisories across central Indiana due to dangerous driving conditions.

County Road 850 East near Zionsville is like a lot of Boone County roads, snow-covered and slick, but manageable.

"Not bad at all. Actually, a little bit slow, but since this morning, I feel it's cleared a lot," said Laurie Upton of Zionsville.

The lanes of I-65 in Boone County are clear, minus a few icy spots here and there.

"They've been doing a good job on the roads, I'd say. I expected it to be a lot worse, based on all of the weather reports I've heard coming up here, but roads are pretty clear, there are a few plows out there, but people are driving smart, keeping their space and it's been pretty good," said Dan Kudma, who was filing up on gas on his way home to Valparaiso.

But drive on any county road and you'll find a layer of snow that, despite their efforts, crews just can't seem to get ahead of. And there's one reason: intense winds that make clearing and keeping the snow clear almost impossible.

State Road 39 is okay for now, but Ron Ebert fears, "if we get the winds they're talking about, it will become impassable."

County and state crews have been working around the clock trying to clear roads, but with high winds, they might as well just stop the trucks.

"This is a real light snow, so it's just blowing everywhere," said Gene Denny, Boone County Highway Department. "Once it gets below 10-12 mph, we can kind of plow it and it will pretty well stay over."

Denny says the winds are keeping crews helpless.

"We can plow it and half an hour later, you wouldn't even know it was there," he said.

Ebert is marking his driveway entrance, worried what's visible now won't be soon.

"Right now, it's not bad, but if they get these 30-40 mph winds like they're talking about, I don't think I'll be out here putting anything up," he laughed. "We usually just tuck it in and, as I say, hibernate for awhile through here, until things kind of let up."

The county plow trucks will stop if the winds pick up much more and their work becomes futile.

"Stay at home if you don't have to get out," Denny urged.

Get INDOT road reports here.

See all watches and warnings here.

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