Many counties issue travel alerts for ice storm
Frankfort - At least seven Indiana counties have declared states of emergency for the winter storm delivering heavy snow and ice.
Spokeswoman Emily Norcross of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday night, states of emergency existed in Boone, Clinton, Fayette, Jasper, LaPorte. Newton and Porter counties.
In Clinton County about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis, emergency operations officer Sam Payne says travel was restricted to emergency personnel, and the county advised schools, businesses and government agencies to activate emergency plans. He says most factories have closed and drivers are staying off the roads.
The National Weather Service says a trained weather spotter in Frankfort reported whiteout conditions from sleet at one point Tuesday.
City decision to be made in morning
Mayor Greg Ballard's office says a decision on closing city offices will be made in the morning.
The mayor and the Department of Public Works continue to monitor the impact of the storm, and will be doing so all night long. The mayor's office will make a determination about whether or not to close city/county offices by 6:30 Wednesday morning.
Central Indiana is under a winter storm warning, and SkyTrak Weather is calling for freezing rain expected to last past midnight, which could mean dangerous ice on the roads later.
Mayor Ballard has raised the Indianapolis/Marion County travel status to orange and issued a travel watch at 10:30 am Tuesday. The elevated status alerts residents that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public, and only essential travel is recommended, such as to and from work and emergency situations.
All City and County employees not essential to Public Safety and Public Works operations were sent home at noon today. Sworn police officers and Department of Public Works fleet, forestry and other support services for the ice storm, including the Mayor's Action Center, will continue to work, and primary routes and thoroughfares will continue to be treated for the next 48 hours or more.
State offices open Wednesday
Governor Daniels said Tuesday night that state offices will be open for normal operations on Wednesday. The state's emergency operations center continues to be staffed as the winter storm moves across Indiana.
Indiana's Bureau of Motor Vehicles officials say all branches closed Tuesday afternoon at 3pm and will only reopen on Wednesday if the weather permits. They will be keeping watch and will make a determination early Wednesday.
Hamilton County Government Offices are now closed, and will remain closed through Wednesday. Night Court and the Hamilton County Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday are canceled.
Bartholomew County offices will also be closed Wednesday.
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and related agencies, including the Clerk's Office, will be closed on Wednesday. The Carroll County Courthouse will also be closed Wednesday.
Travel conditions continue to change across the state. State Police in Lafayette say sleet is falling there and in Fountain County while White County is reporting heavy snow.
All Indy Parks facilities will be closed February 2, 2011, due to the weather conditions. All programs have been canceled.
SR 46 blocked
INDOT says State Road 46 between Spencer and Greensburg is impassible due to downed trees on roads. This includes Columbus and Bloomington as major metropolitan areas in the path.
Northern Hamilton Co. under emergency
The Hamilton County Commissioners have declared a snow emergency for the northern half of Hamilton County, from S. R. 32 north to the County line. Travel in this area is restricted to emergency travel only. Officers are reporting white out conditions and impassible roadways.
Boone County disaster emergency
Lebanon and Boone County Indiana declared a local disaster emergency effective 7:00 PM February 1, 2011. Residents are advised to restrict all travel to that is absolutely necessary.
Letters will be made available for employers noting that travel is restricted. They will be available through the County Clerk and sheriff once the declaration is rescinded.
This decision is made this afternoon in conjunction with County Commissioners President Jeff Wolfe, Emergency Management Director Mike Martin, Sheriff Ken Campbell, County Clerk Penny Bogan, Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis, Lebanon Police Chief Tom Garoffolo, and County Highway Supt. Tom Kouns.
The Boone County Communications Center reminds all to restrict their calls to the center to emergencies so the telephone system is not overwhelmed with non-emergency calls.
Red Cross has made the necessary contacts with local facilities to be ready to open as shelters as necessary.
Emergency Services continue to patrol and be available to respond as needed throughout Boone County.
Travel advisories by county (Note - this link is experiencing very heavy traffic today. If it doesn't load or you get an error message, wait a minute or two and refresh the page.)
Benton County is at a Level 2 travel advisory. County roads blowing shut. Benton Schools are closed Wed. 2-2-11
At 10 p.m., Carroll County officials upgraded to a Level I Warning for travel. Only emergency personnel is allowed on the roads. Residents who are without power are urged to shelter in place. Under extreme conditions, call 911 to see if transportation to a shelter is available. Power has been off in Camden and Flora, but is currently back on line.
In the event of power outages, or for stranded motorists who may be stuck between travel points, the following locations will be opened as shelters: Burlington Volunteer Fire Dept 108 West 8th Street Camden Community Center State Road 218, west of SR 75 Cutler Volunteer Fire Dept. East of SR 75, Sout of town Delphi Armory 711 Armory Road (West of 421, South of Delphi) Flora 4-H Building 4th and Main (N. of SR 18, at East end of town) These shelters are for emergencies only, and any who come are urged to bring as many supplies for self-sufficiency as possible.
Travel Warnings are also in effect in Shelby, Decatur and Fayette Counties. Travel restricted to emergency personnel only.
Marion County is under a Travel Watch with threatening conditions and only essential travel requested.
Travel Advisories are in Hamilton, Hancock, Morgan and Johnson.
Johnson County Government offices and Courts will be closed all day Wednesday, Feb. 2, due to the inclement weather. We will also be going to a Level 2 Travel Advisory, which calls for essential travel only, which does include back and forth to work.
Madison and Delaware Counties are making shelter arrangements. They have not announced where those centers will be located, but are in the process of making those emergency shelters available. Blackford County is not providing shelters at this time.
A store manager at the Circle K and Shell gas station on I-65 and Main Street in Greenwood says there's a huge demand for salt. He says they have run out of sidewalk salt and people are now buying water softener salt. But there's plenty of gas with a delivery there Tuesday morning.