INDIANAPOLIS — A winter storm warning has been issued for much of Central Indiana, and some areas could see 6-12 inches of snow by Thursday night.
As of Thursday morning, most counties in Indiana are under a travel status.
Emergency management and public safety officials who spoke with WRTV are urging people to stay off the roads if possible.
MORE | Indianapolis Weather Forecast | Indiana county travel map | Indiana Weather Radar| Indianapolis Snow Force plow tracker |
Photos | Flights canceled at Indianapolis International Airport | Winter weather safety: Now is the time to prepare for a winter storm
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City of Lawrence offices will be closed again Friday, Deputy Chief of Lawrence Police Department Gary Woodruff said.
Emergency, public safety and public works personnel will report for work as scheduled, Woodruff added.
Indiana State Police responded to several crashes throughout the day and are urging drivers to stay off major highways tonight and, in some areas, tomorrow.
Sgt. John Perrine with ISP Indianapolis tweeted at 8:40 p.m. Thursdaythat they responded to the following over the last 24 hours:
- 51 crashes (2 with injuries)
- 57 slideoffs
- 151 Motorist Assists (disabled vehicles, vehicles stuck etc.)
Here's what other conditions ISP dealt with:
Conditions in the area became most severe around noon when it started snowing and then worsened throughout the day, said Sgt. Michael Wood with ISP's Bloomington district.
The district's northern part, which encompasses Morgan County, was hit harder by snow, while in Monroe County crews dealt with a mix of slush and rain.
"INDOT had a pretty good handle on things ... but once the snow started to hit, it all kind of went downhill," Wood said.
Wood added that additional troopers were brought out to aid in the response, though there were no serious crashes and not many drivers out.
"Kudos to the public for heading our advice," he said.
Troopers will continue to respond Thursday night into Friday morning, according to Wood.
Troopers in the Putnamville District responded Thursday to 17 slide-offs, 12 property damage accidents and 39 calls for drivers in need of assistance, according to Sgt. Matthew Aimes.
Aimes told WRTV that roads were "very slick and hazardous" about 7 p.m. due to a combination of snow and ice, along with very strong winds blowing over lanes.
There were no accidents resulting in serious injuries or death at the time, Aimes said.
Aimes said anyone driving in wintry conditions like today's should leave for their destinations 30 to 40 minutes ahead of time, slow down, use their headlights and seatbelts, and leave extra distance between their vehicle and others.
Drivers should also slow down and get into an opposite lane when they see an emergency vehicle on the road, Aimes said.
State police tracked a total of 21 crashes and 41 slide-offs from midnight to 7 p.m. Thursday, compared to 47 crashes and 74 slide-offs the day before, according to Sgt. Jeremy Piers with the Lafayette District.
Local roads conditions were poor late Thursday in his district, also due to ice and snow. The biggest trouble area for first responders was Interstate 65 near State Road 22 and U.S. 231, Piers said.
Troopers had not received any reports of wrecks resulting in death or serious injury.
Sgt. Tony Slocum described local road conditions as "horrible."
He said about 7:10 p.m. that there was severe drifting on east and westbound roads because of strong winds, with north to southbound roads still covered in snow.
Some country roads in the district's southern portion were impossible to drive on, he added.
The situation was so bad in some parts that ISP is asking people to not drive Friday.
However, there were no reports of any crashes causing death or serious injuries.
Roads were slushy and ice-covered throughout the area, especially along a 45-mile stretch of I-65 in Jackson and Bartholomew counties, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles.
From about 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., police responded to roughly 10 or less crashes and a few slide-off, which Wheeles attributed to drivers heading the weather warnings and staying home.
There were no fatal or life-threatening crashes.
The Indiana Department of Transportation expects a full call-out of trucks treating roads until at least noon Friday, INDOT spokeswoman Mallory Duncan told WRTV.
The agency will reevaluate the situation at noon, but at the time being its main priority is to have the roads cleaned, Duncan said.
Duncan urged anyone driving Friday to travel cautiously and be wary of any crews out working.
"They may be half in a lane and half on the shoulder, so be very careful – especially if you don’t know where the lanes are. We’re going to try to get all this snow off the roads so people can see the roads (and) see the different lanes again and get home safe," Duncan said.
Local officials are reporting very hazardous conditions across their counties.
Here's what they're saying:
Dan Parker, director of the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, told WRTV that crews had made significant progress by 5 p.m. Thursday but still had much work left to do overnight.
Once the snowfall stops, contractors will be mobilized to work on residential streets, which will add another 172 trucks to the response, Parker said.
"We're going to continue to attack this all night long," Parker said.
Parker also noted that many main streets were open and passable late Thursday but urged residents to stay home overnight.
Roads are expected to be more driveable Friday — especially once the sun comes out, Parker said.
"Roads are in very, very bad shape," Emergency Management Assistant Director Dave Moon said late Thursday.
Moon said about 5:10 p.m. that response crews were getting ready to wrap up for the day but still had yet to get to sidewalks. However, main streets were cleared.
Heavy snowfall made it difficult for crews to navigate. As a result, country roads were in worse shape, Moon said.
Moon also noted that severe weather caused issues for fire crews while they responded to an overnight trailer fire. Tankers could not get to the trailer and had to lay about 450 feet of hose to combat the blaze.
No one was home at the time and there were no injuries, Moon said.
"It has been tough with the wind to get a good measurement. That's why we went to red status a little bit earlier," said Russ Evans, spokesman for Putnam County Emergency Management.
Evans added that strong winds significantly reduced visibility and that cleanup crews had a hard time keeping up with the amount of snowfall.
He expected crews to continue responding overnight into Friday morning but noted that it could take a few days for crews to catch up completely.
Total snowfall estimates were about 5.7 inches in Greencastle and 7 inches near Reelsville by about 7:30 p.m., Evans said.
As of late Thursday afternoon, Wayne County was on a travel watch with "no plans to change," said Emergency Management Director Matthew Cain.
All roads were impacted by snowfall, though those in unincorporated areas were in worse condition, according to Cain.
Boone County Commissioners have declared a county-wide State of Emergency and upgraded to a travel warning beginning at 5 p.m., according to the Town of Whitestown.
From Indianapolis Public Schools:
Due to inclement weather, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) will continue with remote learning for all students and staff on Friday, February 4.
Students will NOT participate in in-person learning on Friday; schools will share more details with families on whether students will engage in synchronous or asynchronous learning. Meal distribution will not be available on Friday.
Student athletes should check with their coaches on the status of contests (games).
Note: IPS Innovation schools might follow a different schedule, so please check with your school for more details.
IPS employees, please follow the Report-to-Work guidance for School Closure on the Human Resources page at www.myips.org. If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor.
Bloomington Transit: "Due to hazardous road conditions, All BT bus service will end early today. Rts, 1, 2, 3, and 4 last departure times from Transit Center will occur at 6:10 PM. Rte 5 last run departs at 5:40. Rte 7 ends at 6:15. Rte 6 ends at 6:30 at The Arch. Rte 9 ends at 6:15 at The Monroe."
A crash involving multiple semi-trucks has closed all lanes of Interstate 70 westbound near the 47-mile marker near Cloverdale, ISP Sgt. Matt Ames said. No injuries have been reported.
Photo from the accident on I-70 at the 47 mm westbound. All lanes are open now. pic.twitter.com/HB2bMEoZZK— Sgt. Matt Ames (@ISPPutnamville) February 3, 2022
INDOT is providing an update on Indiana road conditions. Here's what you need to know:
- A full callout is still in place and just under 1,000 trucks are still on the roads.
- INDOT will remain in a full callout until at least noon Friday.
- Across the state, INDOT is fully staffed to cover all of the routes.
- Crews have been staying in hotels to be closer to work and are working 12-hour shifts.
- In the Indianapolis area, INDOT crews have already used more than 3,00 tons of salt. Crews will likely use several more thousand tons of salt as they continue treating the roads.
All Indiana Department of Health COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites will again be closed Friday due to the winter storm. The closures include the clinic across from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
People who had an appointment at a state-run site will receive instructions on how to reschedule. IDOH advised people to call ahead if they have an appointment or are planning a walk-in visit at sites operated by local health departments or other entities.
Randolph County EMA said as this picture shows, travel and road conditions are becoming treacherous.
"If these trucks, loaded with sand, can go off-road, then it's easy to believe most motorists should not be out on the roadways," a tweet from Randolph County EMA wrote.
The left two lanes of Interstate 69 northbound are closed near 96th Street due to a crash.
Indianapolis has received about three inches of snow with more to come. Here's a look at snowfall totals from around the state.
Power has been restored to more than 4,000 customers in Anderson.
Snow continues to expand across Central Indiana this morning. Snowfall rates could exceed 1” per hour at times. Areas in pink could see some sleet mix in with the snow. #INwx @wrtv pic.twitter.com/bSyWnmlaR2— Kyle Mounce (@kylemounce) February 3, 2022
The INDOT plow cameras are working again. You can see what Indiana road conditions are like here.
Two traffic alerts from Indiana State Police on Interstate 74.
#TrafficAlert— Sgt. John Perrine (@ISPIndianapolis) February 3, 2022
I-74 EB at the 111 mile marker is closed for a jackknifed semi
EB traffic is being diverted at Exit 109, traffic can take Frontage Road, which parallels I-74, for 4 miles and can get back on at the 113
Extended clean-up expected
🚨I-74 Closed-Decatur County🚨— Sgt. Stephen Wheeles (@ISPVersailles) February 3, 2022
Multiple jackknifed semis on I-74 Westbound near the 125 mile marker in western Decatur County has I-74 WB shut down. Traffic is being diverted off of I-74 at the 132 mile marker near Greensburg. pic.twitter.com/kHh2mhCgV5
From the Lafayette Police Department: "In an effort to allow our Street Department crews to clear the roads for safer travel, Lafayette Police have begun enforcement of the Snow Emergency parking procedures. If you know of anyone who has a vehicle parked on a marked Snow Emergency route, contact them to have the vehicle moved immediately. Any vehicles remaining on the roadways are subject to impound and fines."
Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine said in the last 12 hours, troopers from the Indianapolis post have responded to 39 motorist assists, 13 slide-offs and 25 crashes. People were injured in three of those crashes.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Matt Ames said in the last 12 hours, troopers from the Putnamville post have responded to 13 motorist assists, 7 slide-offs and 7 property damage crashes.
Olio Road in Fishers is a sheet of ice this morning. Hamilton County is under a travel watch.— Kelsey Anderson (@kanderson_WRTV) February 3, 2022
Take it slow if you have to get out and about. pic.twitter.com/naigTwAU9Q
The Boone County Sheriff's Office said all lanes of East State Road 32 are closed west of US 421 due to an INDOT truck that rolled over. Deputy Wesley Garst said no injuries have been reported and this is a property damage crash only.
BCSO Traffic Alert: 9100 block of E SR 32 all lanes are shut down, due to a INDOT plow truck roll over. Avoid the area for the next 60 minutes.— Boone County Sheriff (@boonecosheriff) February 3, 2022
About 2,000 Duke Energy customers are without power. Nearly half are in southwestern Indiana where there was heavy ice buildup prior to the snow.
Carmel street department killing it as always! We’re out checking road conditions this morning, and so far plows are keeping up! pic.twitter.com/asXmNaWXN8— Carmel Fire (@CarmelFireDept) February 3, 2022
Even though you may be waking up tonless snow than forecasted, we still have a whole day of snowfall ahead of us- roads are snow and ice covered and very slick. Winds are starting to drift the snow as well. We urge you to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. pic.twitter.com/oDNfs81Fo1— Delaware County Emergency Management (@DelawareCoEM) February 3, 2022
The Hamilton County EMA has posted several updates from around the county this morning.
Troopers are on the scene of an overturned vehicle on I-65 Southbound near the 76 mile marker in northern Bartholomew County. The left lane is blocked.— Sgt. Stephen Wheeles (@ISPVersailles) February 3, 2022
Roads are starting to get ice covered. Bridges and overpasses will be the slickest. pic.twitter.com/qe58HK9aec
WRTV Photographer Shea Goodpaster said this crash on Interstate 74 westbound near State Road 244 in Shelby County has cleared.
Most flights into and out of the Indianapolis International Airport are already canceled for today. WRTV's Rafael Sanchez is reporting only about 30 flights are still scheduled to arrive in or depart from the airport.
Breaking: Only 33 flights are scheduled to serve Indy Int’l Airport today due to weather. On a normal day, it’s 160 flights. Today 2,777 people are set to leave or arrive in Indy versus 8,000 to 12,000 on a regular day. @wrtv pic.twitter.com/Y3xnFmE5az— Rafael Sánchez (@RafaelOnTV) February 3, 2022
Most counties in Indiana are under a travel advisory, watch or warning. Read more here.
Widespread accumulating snowfall today. Snow replaces the variety of weather we had yesterday. pic.twitter.com/VNwempGLjK— Kevin Gregory (@KevinGWRTV) February 3, 2022
All counties surrounding Marion County had issued a travel advisory or travel warning, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security's website showed.
Marion County is not yet under an advisory, watch or warning to date.
Purdue University has canceled all in-person classes scheduled for Thursday and is requiring all nonessential personnel to work remotely if possible.
The status of classes for Friday will be communicated later, the university said in an announcement.
The Indianapolis Department of Public Works has called on its Indy Snow Force plow drivers to treat local roads with salt.
Rainfall earlier Wednesday prevented pre-treatment of the roads because salt likely would have been washed away, the Department said.
Residents who usually park their cars along plow routes were urged to park off-street if possible. Any spaces where a car is parked cannot be plowed.
Public Works also announced all trash and recycling services will be suspended on Thursday and Friday.
Additionally, Saturday operations for the Citizens' Transfer Station and the rotating ToxDrop location have been suspended.
Upon orders from Gov. Eric Holcomb, nearly 240 Indiana National Guardsmen are responding to assist local authorities during severe weather across the state.
A total of 60 highway teams will assist, including 20 each in the northern, southern and central parts of the state, 14 in the south and an additional six for any areas with extreme weather impacts.
The guardsmen will be based in armories in South Bend, Lafayette, Gary, Fort Wayne, Lawrence, Terre Haute, Richmond, Camp Atterbury, New Albany, Evansville, Bloomington and Scottsburg.
There will be no trash or recycling services in Carmel on Thursday, and the City announced.
Friday services may also be delayed, based on the amount of snowfall.. Republic Services of Carmel may hold extended hours over the weekend to make up for the delay, the City said.
Updates are available on Republic Service's website.
Indy Parks Family Centers will be open to the public as warming centers during normal business hours. The city has posted more information on its website.
The Indiana Department of Health is closing all state-run COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites for the rest of the day and on Thursday due to the winter storm.
Those with appointments at the sites will receive instructions on rescheduling their appointments.
City and county offices in Indianapolis and Marion County will be closed Thursday, according to the mayor's office.
Residents can still access services on the city's website, the RequestIndy app or by calling the Mayor's Action Center at 317-327-4622.
Several counties have a travel alert in place across Indiana. Here's a look at the map as of 3:55 p.m.
There will be no trash or recycling pickup on Thursday in Bloomington, city officials announced. Residents are asked to not put their carts out for collection.
A water main break closed eastbound traffic on West 21st Street between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the Interstate 65 overpass. The closure is expected to last through the evening and motorists should avoid the area, according to Citizens Energy Group.
Heads up: Indy Dept of Public Works says Thur & Fri residential and heavy trash as well as curbside recycling service is suspended this week, including service completed by Republic Services and Waste Management. The Citizens Transfer Station will also be closed this Saturday.— Kara Kenney (@KaraKenney6) February 2, 2022
Purdue University said all in-person classes and meetings after 4 p.m. Wednesday on its West Lafayette campus should be moved online or canceled due to the weather. All non-essential personnel working on campus will be dismissed at 4 p.m.
The operating status for the campus on Thursday hasn't been decided yet.
Here are some tips from AAA on driving safely in winter storm conditions:
- Drive slowly and adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when you’re driving on ice or snow.
- Accelerate or decelerate slowly. Be sure to apply the gas slowly to regain traction to avoid skidding. If you start to skid, steer the car in the same direction the rear wheels are sliding. For example, if your car slides to the left, turn your steering wheel to the left.
- It takes longer to slow down on icy roads, so you should increase your following distance to 5-6 seconds and never tailgate.
- If you have anti-lock brakes, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
- Don’t power up a hill or stop going down a hill.
- Try to avoid coming to a complete stop if you can avoid it. AAA says to keep rolling until a traffic light changes if you can.
- If you get stuck, stay with your vehicle as it provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to find you and walking through a severe winter storm is dangerous. Don’t over-exert yourself while digging out your vehicle and be visible by tying a brightly colored cloth to the antenna of your vehicle or place a cloth at the top of a rolled-up window to signal distress. Keep your dome light on if you’re stuck at nighttime. Also, be sure to clear the exhaust pipe as a blocked pipe can cause carbon monoxide to leak into the vehicle if the engine is running. Finally, stay warm by using whatever is available and conserve fuel.
Federal courthouses in Indianapolis, Evansville, New Albany and Terre Haute will be closed to the public on Thursday.
All proceedings scheduled for Thursday will be rescheduled. Unless otherwise ordered by a judge, all scheduled video and phone proceedings will still take place.
From 4 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Friday, the University of Indianapolis will close its campus.
"It has been a year with a lot of uncertainty, and while we could create a complex strategy to move some of our 2,500 courses online, we have decided the best idea is to schedule an old-fashioned snow day and close the University," a letter to the campus community read. "We hope this approach will allow you to stay safe during this time, and take care of the other life challenges you may have that are caused by the storm. Storms of this nature can oftentimes create personal emergencies. If you find yourself experiencing a non life-threatening emergency, perhaps due to a loss of power or other personal needs, please contact Student Affairs at (317) 788-3530 for assistance."
The Indianapolis Public Library will close at 2 p.m. Wednesday and remain closed all day Thursday due to the weather.
About an hour ago, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and state officials gave an update on the storm. Here's what you need to know:
- Holcomb said various agencies and departments are working together and are urging Hoosiers to prepare now.
- The state is "over-prepared" for the storm, Holcomb said.
- As the temperatures drop and the snow moves in, Holcomb is reminding people to check on their neighbors.
- INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness gave an update on INDOT's efforts.
- McGuinness said in most cases, because the rain is coming before the snow, INDOT crews won't be able to treat the roads.
- A total of 240 Indiana National Guard members will deploy Wednesday and work through the weekend. They will be patrolling roads and helping motorists.
- Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter asked people to understand some of the limitations troopers have.
- Carter also urged people to not get out of their vehicles if they become stranded.
- The Indiana Department of Homeland Security provided an update on its efforts.
Lafayette, Indiana weather
Most of northern Indiana is under a travel advisory or travel watch.
WATCH LIVE | Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is providing an update on the winter storm.
Due to the weather, tonight's Indy Fuel game will begin at 6 p.m. Doors will now open at 5 p.m.
West Lafayette Police Department: "Roads are quickly becoming hazardous, hills especially are very difficult to drive up. If you do not have to be on the roads, stay inside!"
A few counties in Indiana, including Hamilton County, have already issued a travel watch. Several other counties, including Howard and Delaware counties, have issued a travel advisory.
IndyGo warned riders that this week’s winter storm could lead to significant service impacts.
The transit company said riders should wear warm, highly visible clothing so bus drivers can see them at bus stops.
People should leave extra travel time to and from their destination.
IndyGo posts service delays on the IndyGo Rider Alerts Twitter page. They can also be found by texting your five-digit stop number to 463-208-4344.
We're seeing rain this morning in Central Indiana. Conditions will begin changing over to sleet and snow this afternoon. Southern locations will wait longer for snow to arrive. Here is the latest forecast from WRTV meteorologist Todd Klaassen.
The Hamilton County Health Department announced its COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in Noblesville will close Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution" ahead of the winter storm.
Its vaccination site at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 Pleasant St., will be closed all day Wednesday, while the testing site at the Health Department's building, 18030A Foundation Dr., Suite A, will close at 1 p.m.
Both sites will be closed all day Thursday and Friday and will reopen Monday.
Those who made an appointment during hours the sites will be closed will receive a call to reschedule, the Health Department said.
Any Hoosiers who made plans for a walk-in COVID-19 test or vaccine visit was encouraged to check site availability on the Indiana State Department of Health's COVID-19 resources and vaccine information webpages.
The Fishers Health Department is also closing its site on Thursday.
See a weather radar timeline here.
The Indiana Department of Transportation said it will have nearly 1,000 trucks treating and plowing roads beginning Tuesday night. INDOT asked people to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary to allow plow drivers to work safely.
Mayor Joe Hogsett and other city leaders are providing an update on winter storm preparations.
Weather impacts COVID-19 tests and vaccination clinics in Indiana
The Indiana Department of Health announced all state-run COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday due to the storm.
The clinic across from Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be closed Thursday.
Other clinics in the state in Porter, La Porte, St. Joseph, Pulaski, Huntington, DeKalb, Cass, Fountain/Warren, Shelby, Madison, Howard, Vigo and Vermillion counties will also be closed Thursday.
People with appointments at a state-run vaccination or testing site will be notified if the site closes and will receive instructions about how to reschedule, according to IDOH.
Here is the look at the forecast from WRTV meteorologist Todd Klaassen.
- Find the latest forecast from WRTV meteorologists here.
- Preparations for the winter storm are ongoing in Central Indiana. Here are some ways you can get ready and stay safe.
- Expect lots of school and business closings later this week. WRTV will have a complete list.
- Download the Storm Shield app on your iOS or Android device for the latest updates.
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