Several counties under snow emergencies
Indianapolis - A winter storm caused major problems for Indiana drivers Friday into Saturday. Hoosiers were dealing with slide-offs and crashes on roads, power outages and travel advisories.
State police at the Connersville post call a ten-mile stretch of I-70 in Henry County a "vehicle graveyard" due to the number of slide-offs on the highway. At least nine vehicles have been abandoned after slide-offs or crashes during Friday's storm.
"Between the 124 and 130 mile markers we had total whiteouts at times this morning. It was too dangerous to attempt to pull cars out last night or this morning. We just transported the people to the nearest exit with hopes of pulling out their vehicle later today or tomorrow," said ISP Trooper Brian Gwinn.
Trooper Gwinn has spent much of the past two days working that stretch of the interstate. Even as snow melted in the area, cold temperatures and wind made for slick conditions.
"I-70 was mostly wet until you got to the 129 mile marker. It turned to solid ice there for about 3-4 miles because of the high winds and blowing snow. People were driving too fast when they hit that stretch of roadway," said ISP Senior Trooper David Whitinger.
Police say most of I-70 through Wayne and Henry counties is drying up, with several wet spots that may still be slick. Secondary roads remain hazardous with some being down to one lane.
At 7:20 am, a spilled load closed the southbound lanes of I-69 at the 15 mile marker near Pendleton for at least two hours.
Winter Storm Watch issued
More snow is on the way, as the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch due to a forecast of snow Monday night. The storm, which is expected to last through Tuesday, could leave up to six inches of snow by Tuesday morning.
Forecasters predict that as the snow tapers off late Tuesday, winds of around 35 miles per hour are expected into Wednesday, leading to blowing and drifting snow covering roadways.
As of 8:00 am Saturday, Duke Energy said it had 3,000 customers without power, with over 1,000 in Hendricks County alone. That number was reduced to less than 60 across the region by 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Indianapolis Power and Light reported just a couple dozen customers without power Saturday afternoon.
Boone County Commissioners declared Boone County under a snow emergency at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Hamilton County is under a Level 2 Travel Advisory, meaning only essential travel is permitted.
Henry County is under a Level 1 Snow Emergency. Essential travel only.
Tipton County is under a Level 1 Snow Emergency. All county roads are impassable. Only emergency travel will be allowed.
Tippecanoe Emergency Management has issued a Level II Advisory which means essential travel only; to work or school.
Wayne County lifted their Level 3 Snow Emergency at 6 p.m., but announced a Level 1 Travel Advisory until Monday morning.
Redkey Indiana State Police update:
From 12:00 p.m. yesterday thru 5:00 a.m. this morning, troopers investigated 67 slide-offs, 30 property damage crashes and 4 minor personal injury crashes on I-69 in Delaware and Grant Counties. Road conditions have deteriorated over night, and visibility is nearly zero do to the high winds.
Motorists should use extreme caution if travel is necessary. Because of the high winds and wind chill factor, if you are stranded stay with your vehicle to stay warm. Do not venture away, particularly in the rural areas.
There may be lane restrictions and traffic back-ups. Use caution and reduce speed, particularly when approaching our troopers who are assisting motorists and investigating crashes.
Current road conditions within the Redkey District of the Indiana State Police, which includes Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Jay and Randolph Counties, are as follows:
I-69 in Delaware and Grant Counties (31-72 mile-marker), driving and passing lanes snow/ice covered and slick. Use caution on bridges, underpasses and ramps.
U.S. and State highways lanes are snow/ice covered and slick, and down to one lane in some areas. Use caution on bridges, underpasses and ramps.
Secondary roads (county roads) are snow covered and slick, and many have drifted closed.
Motorists are advised to use the following cautions when driving:
Clear all windows, head/tail lamps of snow and ice
Turn headlights on, even in the daylight hours
Be aware of sudden stops
Keep distance between vehicles, don't tailgate
Hang up cell phones, and drive with caution
MOVE OVER, SLOW DOWN when approaching emergency vehicles
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