Tuesday updates: Roads still dangerous, counties assess needs

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A look at updates around Indiana as the winter storm takes hold:

3:03 p.m. – IndyGo announces that it will operate on a normal schedule starting Wednesday.

According to IndyGo, “Although all Fixed Route and Open Door trips will operate regular hours, passengers should expect delays due to increased travel on the roads and some detours in areas that haven’t been completely cleared.”

2:30 p.m. – The Town of Fishers Department of Public Works (DPW) reports being nearly 95 percent finished with snow removal in subdivisions. If you need streets plowed, go to the Town of Fishers’ social media sites or call 317-595-3160 to reach DPW.

1:40 p.m. – Mayor Greg Ballard gives update on city’s efforts in snow response. Marion County will move to a travel advisory (yellow) at 5 p.m. Find a recap of the mayor’s news conference here.

1:36 p.m. – Duke Energy outages drop to about 1,400; Indianapolis Power & Light outages at a little more than 12,000.

1:20 p.m. – The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office reports 12 slide-offs and three property damage accidents since 7 a.m. Tuesday.

According to Sheriff Doug Cox, “a big problem we are having on U.S. 31 in the northbound lanes is semi tractor and trailers that have been diverted off the interstate and are backing up traffic.”

1:14 p.m. – Indiana State Police say I-65 northbound between exit 76 in Bartholomew County and exit 95 in Johnson County (Edinburgh to Whiteland exits) remains closed because of icy conditions. INDOT and Indiana State Police officials will make a determination later this afternoon if the road can be re-opened or remain closed until tomorrow. Southbound lanes remain open.

12:52 p.m. – Conditions are improving, but Indianapolis International Airport still has plenty of cancellations and delays to report:

12:51 p.m. – FOX59’s Angela Ganote reports a slide-off on the west side near the Colts complex:

12:37 p.m. – Boone County officials say Travel Warning (red) will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Tuesday (check travel advisories).

12:01 p.m. – Mayor Greg Ballard, other Indianapolis officials set to provide update on winter storm response at 1:30 p.m. We’ll carry it live on FOX59 and at FOX59.com.

11:54 a.m. – Zionsville Police Department shuts down SR334/Oak Street due to complete icing. All traffic diverted.

11:41 a.m. – Indiana Pacers say Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors is expected to go on as scheduled. Statement from Pacers COO Rick Fuson: “We have been in constant contact with the NBA and our local government officials. All parties expect the game to be played as scheduled. If people have questions about tickets, they should call 917-2500 and ask for a ticket representative, who will work to resolve any issues.”

11:34 a.m. – INDOT announces the following road closures:

  • State Road 39 between I-65 and I-74 (Hendricks County)
  • S.R. 26 from the Illinois State Line to U.S. 41(Vermillion County)
  • S.R. 26 from the Tippecanoe County Line to West Lafayette
  • U.S. 231 from U.S. 52 to S.R. 18 (Tippecanoe/White Counties)
  • S.R. 18 from U.S. 52 to U.S. 231 (Benton/White Counties)
  • S.R. 71 (Benton County)
  • S.R. 352 (Benton County)

11:33 a.m. – Hendricks County officials say roads are like “ice rinks” and say law enforcement officers can’t keep up with the number of slide-offs. Many county roads impassable due to “snow drifts, downed power lines, and abandoned vehicles.”

11:21 a.m. – Tipton County elects to keep Travel Warning. County will re-evaluate status at 1 p.m.

11:18 a.m. – Boone County Sheriff’s Office says I-65 to Chicago is now open.

11:09 a.m. – State’s Joint Information Center provided the following update:

Weather Outlook

Heavy snowfall totals can be found throughout Central and Northern Indiana. Some locations are reporting totals of up to 15 inches. The southern portion of the state received significantly less snowfall, however some locations are reporting up to 8 inches of snow.

Today, dangerously low temperatures continue into the morning. High temperatures are expected to finally creep back into positive digits as the day progresses, with a high temperature of 6° forecasted for Indianapolis. The warm up is expected to continue overnight, with highs Wednesday approaching 30°.

Governor Pence’s Executive Order

Governor Michael R. Pence signed an executive order on January 6, that declares a state of disaster emergency for 29 counties affected by the severe winter weather that began on Sunday, January 5. The counties are: Clinton, Delaware, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Howard, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Marshall, Montgomery, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, Rush, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, White, and Whitley.

Local Declarations

The following counties have locally declared a state of disaster emergency: Allen*, Boone*, Clinton, Delaware, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Greene*, Henry*, Howard, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Marshall, Miami*, Montgomery, Morgan*, Newton, Noble, Owen*, Perry*, Porter, Pulaski, Randolph*, Rush, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, White, and Whitley.

* Indicates counties that declared a state of disaster emergency after the governor’s executive order. These counties may be added.

Travel Advisories

  • Red counties (travel warning): 42
  • Orange counties (travel watch): 30
  • Yellow counties (travel advisory): 13
  • White counties (no restrictions): 7

The IDHS County Travel Status Map can be found here: http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/.

10:58 a.m. – Hamilton County officials announce news conference at 2:30 p.m. to update residents on weather and travel conditions. We will carry that live on FOX59.com.

10:07 a.m. – Hendricks County advises that it will remain under a Travel Warning (red) for the time being and said many roads were impassable. County leaders will look at the conditions at 5 p.m. and make a determination on travel advisories.

10:05 a.m. – INDOT reopens icy stretch of I-65 from Lafayette to Merrillville. The roads are covered with ice and travel is still dangerous. Drivers are being told to use “extreme caution” if going out.

10 a.m. – Hamilton County changed its Travel Warning (red) to a Travel Watch. The county also opened a new shelter at the Hamilton County 4H Fairgrounds where pets are welcome. Pet owners must stay with their pets and take care of them.

10 a.m. – From Ball State University: “Campus remains closed until 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 7. Third shift employees should report at 10:30 p.m. or as regularly scheduled. Essential personnel should report as normally scheduled. All other employees return to work as scheduled on Wednesday, January 8.”