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National Guard keeping drivers safe in winter storm's aftermath

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Posted at 6:29 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 19:03:17-05

INDIANA — There's a lot more clear pavement today, but not every driver is so lucky.

National Guard teams are out around the state providing assistance to stranded motorists.

A National Guard Highway Assistance team in Lawrence told WRTV that teams have responded to more than 50 incidents so far since Wednesday.

"The roads today have been cleaned up drastically from yesterday (and) we are able to operate at normal speeds again," said Staff Sergeant Norbert Jones.

From Marion to Kokomo, National Guard crews have local roads covered as they work 12-hour shifts during operation Blizzard Blast — making sure people aren't stuck in the snow or along highways.

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"We've seen a lot of cars slide off the road; semis couldn't make it off exit ramps. We stopped and helped a couple times with the exit ramps, helped state police, things like that," said Jones.

Staff Sergeant Norbert Jones said conditions deteriorated from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

His crew helped 10 people get to safety.

"From teenagers to elderly adults," he said.

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Jones says this week marked only the second time in his 20 years of service he has been placed on orders to help with an Indiana winter storm.

Helping Indiana State Police and other first responders answer calls for help in these hazardous conditions has been rewarding for his team.

"I think it's amazing being able to help people in a crisis like this keep them warm keep them safe," said Jones.

The National Guard says Operation Blizzard Blast will end Saturday evening.