(UNDATED) - Motorists should evaluate the need to travel anywhere in the state over the next couple of days as temperatures have fallen below zero.
Add wind to the extremely frigid temperatures and wind chills are forecast to reach anywhere from 30 to 40 below zero at times with blowing snow and blizzard like conditions.
As of 8:00 a.m. this morning, although the snowfall has tapered off to mostly flurries across the state, most of Indiana is snow covered with the heaviest accumulations in northern Indiana. The following is a list of roads currently closed:
• I-80/94 east and westbound from U.S. 421 (34 mile marker) to the Illinois State Line (0 mile marker)
• I-65 north and southbound from State Road 26 (172 mile marker) to U.S. 30 (253 mile marker); and
• US 35/SR 22 in Howard County is closed from US 31 E to SR 13 in Grant County
Road conditions in central Indiana remain hazardous as INDOT crews have been out around the clock statewide working to keep roads passable.
Road conditions are only slightly better throughout southern Indiana where snow accumulations were less than in the central and northern parts of the state. However, there are still many areas where snow and ice conditions make for very hazardous travel.
The Indiana State Police advise travel in counties under a red travel advisory should only be for emergency purposes. To see the current travel status in your county, click here: http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/. Travel in these counties is extremely hazardous and should be avoided unless there is a LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY that requires the need to travel.
If it becomes necessary to travel, make sure you are prepared by following these tips:
• Tell someone where you are going, your route of travel, and your expected arrival time.
• Also tell that person your vehicle color, year, make, and license plate number.
• Allow plenty of extra time to travel
• Make sure your car is full of fuel and refuel when your gauge indicates a half tank
Pack an emergency kit in the trunk consisting of:
o Extra blankets/coats/hats/gloves
o Working flashlight and extra batteries
o Some bottled water
o High energy, non perishable snacks such as nuts, granola bars, etc.
o A candle and some matches
o Emergency flares
• Have fully charged cell phone or bring along a phone charger for the car
• Keep some sand or "kitty litter" in your trunk help provide some traction should your car get stuck
• Carry a shovel
If you become stranded along the roadway, remain with your car unless you can see a house or business that is only a short distance away. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR TO "LOOK" FOR HELP. Tie a brightly colored flag or other material on the antenna. Run your car's engine for 15-20 minutes per hour just to keep warm and make sure the exhaust pipe stays clear of snow or other obstructions. An idling engine generally will only burn about one gallon of fuel per hour. While your car is running, turn on all lights and honk your horn to attract attention. Make sure to shut off all lights and other electrical components and avoid honking your horn while the engine is off to conserve battery power. CALL 911.
Please avoid calling state, county, and local law enforcement dispatch centers for road and weather updates. Instead, tune into your local radio station, favorite TV news channel, or call the statewide road and weather line at 800-261-7623. This Indiana State Police link http://www.in.gov/isp/2332.htm will take you to an overview page that includes these useful links:
• Situational Awareness for Current Winter Storm
• INDOT Road and Weather Sensors
• National Weather Service
• IDHS County Travel Status Map
For the latest information from the Indiana State Police on the winter storm, visit our webpage http://www.in.gov/isp/3096.htm. This page reads and flows like a blog page. This will continue to be updated for the duration of the storm over the next few days.
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