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INDOT Preparing for Weekend Winter Storm
Updated February 28, 2015 3:01 PM | Filed under: Weather
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The National Weather Service has declared a winter weather advisory for most of central and southern Indiana, predicting up to 7 inches of snow along and north of I-70. Across northern Indiana, up to 4 inches of new snow is expected through Sunday evening.

Further south, snow may mix with rain, leading to potentially icy road conditions.

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. Trained INDOT employees are on call to staff plow trucks around the clock with alternating shifts of 12 hours or more.

Know before you go
Each INDOT plow route takes 2-3 hours to complete with salt assisting in melting between passes. INDOT urges drivers to reschedule optional trips during and shortly after winter precipitation as that's when road conditions will be the worst.

If you must venture out, there are several state resources drivers can access to "know before you go":
Counties post travel advisories as new information is available to or the Indiana Travel Advisory app for iPhone or Android.
INDOT maintenance staff report color-coded winter driving conditions on INDOT's TrafficWise map at Road conditions are defined as:
Gray: Good, the road is clear
Blue: Fair, speed is reduced due to isolated patches of snow and ice, and
Violet: Difficult or hazardous, speed is reduced due to snow and/or ice covered pavement.
For social media updates, find the INDOT Facebook and Twitter pages for your regional district at

Ice is most difficult
A few degrees can mean the difference between rain, freezing rain or snow, so ice can be difficult for forecasters to pinpoint. INDOT uses our statewide network of road and bridge pavement sensors and reports from law enforcement and the public to supplement local weather forecasts. As there are changes in forecasted and observed road conditions, our maintenance supervisors adjust their call-out of manpower, trucks and materials and shift resources as appropriate.

Ice can be the most difficult road conditions for drivers to navigate and plow crews to treat because four-wheel-drive vehicles and large trucks are no match if all tires are on ice. "Black ice" or "slick spots" can also be hard for drivers to distinguish from wet pavement.

Granular salt deployed before and during the storm helps to add traction while lowering the temperature at which the ice melts.

Driver tips
If you must venture out, there are several steps that drivers can take to minimize the risk of losing control on icy roads:

  • Consult local weather forecasts to determine the latest timing and location of the storm.

  • Choose direct routes instead of longer routes on higher-speed highways.

  • Watch how salt trucks, emergency vehicles and other drivers are responding to the weather as visual cues for driving habits. Stay a safe distance and speed behind a plow at work as road conditions are always better behind one than in front.

  • 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.

  • Increase following distance and turn off cruise control.

  • Apply anti-lock brakes firmly when encountering ice. Pump brakes that are not anti-lock. Do not overcorrect with steering.

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