The National Weather Service has declared a winter storm warning for 17 southern Indiana counties along the Ohio River, predicting several inches of snow beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern. In addition, accumulating snow is predicted for all of Indiana south of the I-70 corridor.
Indiana Department of Transportation maintenance supervisors are closely monitoring evolving local forecasts. INDOT will deploy its yellow plow trucks ahead of any predicted accumulation on Indiana’s interstates, U.S. highways and state routes. For social media updates, find the INDOT Facebook and Twitter pages for your regional district at www.in.gov/indot/3074.htm.
Conditions worst during storm
INDOT will adjust its deployment of manpower, trucks and materials as appropriate to address changes in forecasted and observed road conditions. Trained INDOT employees are on call to staff plow trucks around the clock with alternating shifts of 12 hours or more.
Each INDOT plow route takes 2-3 hours to complete with salt assisting in melting between passes. INDOT urges drivers to reschedule optional trips as road conditions will be the worst during and shortly after winter precipitation.
With the heaviest snow predicted to continue through the Monday morning rush, drivers are encouraged to make room for INDOT’s yellow plow trucks so they can complete their routes. Roads clogged from crashes or rush-hour congestion prevent plow trucks from clearing and treating highways in a timely manner.
With temperatures dipping well below freezing, road salt has to work harder to melt accumulated snow and ice. INDOT may mix road salt with sand or specialty chemicals that help it work more effectively in these conditions.
Sub-freezing temperatures increase the chances of melt-water refreezing into “black ice” or “slick spots” that may be difficult for drivers to distinguish from dry pavement. Even four-wheel-drive vehicles and large trucks are no match if all tires are on ice.
If you must venture out, drivers should follow these tips:
- Know before you go by checking the red-yellow-green traffic speeds on your mobile map app of choice or INDOT’s TrafficWise service athttp://indot.carsprogram.org, 800-261-ROAD or 511 on your mobile phone.
- Choose direct routes instead of longer routes on higher-speed arterials.
- Take your foot off the gas and slow down gradually, especially on high-speed highways. No one should be traveling at interstate speeds during these conditions.
- Turn off cruise control.
- Apply anti-lock brakes firmly. Pump brakes that are not anti-lock. Do not overcorrect with steering.