Story Summary

Winter Storm in Central Indiana

Winter Advisories ADI

A winter storm moved through the area Tuesday night dropping a variety of precipitation, including inches of fresh snow.

Four inches of snow fell around the Indianapolis area, with higher amounts to the northeast. Areas near Randolph County received 8″ or more.

Hundreds of schools either delayed or canceled classes Wednesday, putting a kink into that week’s I-STEP testing

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A Central Indiana woman was injured during this week’s winter storm.

A plow truck driver hit the 58-year-old while she was in a parking lot just outside of Columbus Wednesday.

The woman, who is deaf, didn’t realize the plow truck was backing up. She was not seriously injured.

With the temperature warming up over the next few days the snow will start melting.  That can mean problems for homeowners. Already, repair crews are getting booked.

Randy Rinear said one word described this latest round of snow.

“Heavy,” said Rinear.  “I have seen a lot of branches broken.”

All that weight is now resting on his roof.  It makes Randy a little uneasy.

“I have been a carpenter for 30 years and it does do a lot of stress on the rafters,” said Rinear.

Grover Upton of Upton’s Roofing has seen dozens of storms like this one.  He has been roofing for more than 30 years.

“1978 was the real big one,” said Upton.  “We had major ice. It pulled everything down, trees down, caved roofs in.”

Upton said along with the added load of all that snow, possibly thousands of pounds was the refreezing of that snow.

“Normally, when you have a snow like this it could double, if not triple the weight on the roof depending on how thick that snowfall was,” said Upton.

Upton said icicles may be nice to look at, but they could the beginning of what is called an “ice dam.”  Water freezes in the gutter, pressure builds, the ice backs up and starts pushing under shingles.

Grover Upton: “That can back up and create that dam system.”
Reporter: “That is where you get the flooding and there is where it really starts to do some damage?”
Grover Upton: “Correct.”

Rinear said he always keeps one eye on his roof after every storm.  He said it was better to fix his roof, than replace it completely.

“Before it falls in on your head,” said Rinear.  “It is really advisable to do that.”

Many counties north of Indianapolis received more than six inches of snow Tuesday into Wednesday.

This system could have been the last snowfall of the season. It started snowing in Delaware county around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. It stopped snowing around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“The timing of this storm helped us and the crews quite a bit. (It helped because it) allowed the road crews to get out without any traffic,” said Tim Osbourne, Delaware County Emergency Management Deputy Director.

Across the county, state highways appeared to have been cleared Wednesday afternoon. County roads had many slick spots and secondary roads were slushy. Roads in the city of Muncie did not have any problems because of the snow.

Delaware County EMA Director Jason Rogers said there weren’t any major incidents. He said drivers reported one big problem. People were not driving carefully around plows. Wednesday morning, a plow driver tried to avoid a car, but hit a telephone pole. The telephone pole was replaced. The driver was okay.

“I would anticipate in the next 24-hours that we’ll be business as normal,” Rogers said.

Rogers said people need to remember to drive carefully.

“Everybody’s ready for Spring and we’re all in a hurry to try to get to work or get from work and this last little bit of snow and ice certainly caused some problems,” Rogers said.

Indy Snow Force has plans to continue clearing snow throughout Wednesday’s overnight hours.

While no additional accumulation is forecasted, wind gusts could cause drifting. Freezing temperatures could also lead to icy conditions.

Thirty-nine drivers will report for duty at 11 p.m. They will work a 12-hour shift to keep major thoroughfares and secondary streets clear.

Indy Snow Force will continue to monitor the forecast and will adjust their plan accordingly.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will continue to monitor developing forecasts after heavy snow fell across Central Indiana overnight Wednesday.

INDOT issued a full callout of drivers to cover 68 snow routes, which includes more than 30,000 lane miles of interstates, U.S. highways and state routes.

“It’s a lot of snow,” said Keith Hinshaw, a snowplow driver. “The roads are pretty good thought.  Now, just trying to get it out of the way.”

Crews will report for 12-hour shifts until weather conditions subside. Another shift of 90 drivers will report to work at 11 p.m.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, IND. — Heavy wet snow was blamed for downed power lines, power outages, and several slideoffs in Tippecanoe County, Tuesday.

By 10 p.m. Tuesday, Fox 59 measured 2 inches of snow had fallen in downtown Lafayette, creating a messy situation for drivers.

The Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department reported at least 25 accidents had occurred within five hours of the storm’s arrival. Most were slide offs and did not cause serious injuries.

Lafayette’s Street Department had several plows out wiping the slushy snow off the roads, while residents like Gary Brouillard tried to clean off sidewalks.

Brouillard said the wet snow was creating problems.

“It’s really wet snow so it doesn’t want to just go through the snow blower. I mean that’s why it clumps together so well,” he explained. “It’ll probably be an hour and a half and I’ll probably come out in the morning and re-do it.”

The Sheriff’s Department also reported hundreds of people were affected by power outages when the heavy snow knocked tree limbs down onto power lines.

7:00 a.m. – Indiana State Police Pendleton District road report:

  • I-70 – Passing lane snow covered and slick, driving lane is slick, ramps are snow covered in Wayne County. In Henry County the driving lane is wet to slick in spots and the passing lane is slick, with ramps wet to snow covered. Troopers are currently working a semi crash with no injuries at the 153 west bound mile marker in Wayne County.
  • I-69 – Passing lane snow covered, driving lane wet to slick, especially north of the 24 mile marker.-Ramps are snow covered.
  • State roads are snow covered, with east west roads like SR44 in Fayette County drifting to one lane in places.
  • County Roads through the central part of the Pendleton District are snow covered with blowing and drifting.

6:30 a.m. – The following counties are under a travel advisory:

  • Decatur – Advisory
  • Delaware – Advisory
  • Grant – Watch
  • Hancock – Advisory
  • Jennings – Advisory
  • Madison – Advisory
  • Miami – Advisory
  • Parke – Advisory
  • Randolph – Warning
  • Shelby – Advisory
  • Tipton – Advisory
  • Wayne – Advisory

An ADVISORY is the lowest level of local travel advisory, meaning routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation, and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas.

A WATCH means conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.

A WARNING means that travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. During a “warning” local travel advisory, individuals are directed to:

  • refrain from all travel;
  • comply with necessary emergency measures;
  • cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency operations plans; and
  • obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers.

6:00 a.m. – The Grant County Commissioners have closed all county buildings due to inclement weather and road conditions.

Randolph County Government offices are closed, too. Non-essential workers are to stay home.

Current snowfall numbers as reported to the National Weather Service

  • Kokomo at 5:17 a.m. – 4″
  • Zionsville at 5:17 a.m. – 5″

5:15 a.m. - Current snowfall numbers as reported to the National Weather Service

  • Indianapolis International Airport at 5:10 a.m. – 3.7″

5:00 a.m. - Authorities in Randolph and Delaware Counties have issued travel advisories following overnight snow.

In Randolph County, a travel warning as been issued.  A Warning means that travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. During a “warning” local travel advisory, individuals are directed to:

  • refrain from all travel;
  • comply with necessary emergency measures;
  • cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency operations plans; and
  • obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers.

Randolph County saw upwards of 8-10″ of snow overnight. Highway plow crews are having a tough time keeping roads open due to blowing snow.

In Delaware County, a Snow Emergency, level yellow advisory has been issued. Travel is permitted during a weather emergency and is limited to county roads. This advisory does not include state or federal highways. A yellow advisory is defined as:

  • Routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation. Citizens should use caution or avoid these areas. Schools and businesses may begin to implement their emergency action plans.

3:45 a.m. – Current snowfall numbers as reported to the National Weather Service

  • Lawrence at 3:38 a.m – 4.5″
  • Fishers at 3:35 a.m. – 4.5″
  • Castleton at 12:50 a.m.- 4″
  • Plainfield at 3:40 a.m. – 4″

3:00 a.m. - Current power outage numbers:

  • IPL – 475
  • Duke – 348
  • SCI REMC – 90
  • I&M – Zero

Current accidents reported to the INDOT Traffic Management Center

  • EB I-70, Mile 74.7 — Assist motorist

2:00 a.m. - Current accidents reported to the INDOT Traffic Management Center

  • WB I-70, Mile 73.8 — Assist motorist
  • SB I-65, Mile 102.6 — Assist motorist
  • EB I-465, Mile 31.1 – Assist motorist
  • EB I-70, Mile 87.5 — Property damage crash
  • WB I-465, Mile 7.0 — Semi vs. passenger vehicle crash. Reported in median
  • NB I-65, Mile 92.0 — Crash involving a State Trooper

1:40 a.m. – INDOT TMC reports an accident on NB I-65, Mile 92 where a semi reportedly struck a State Trooper’s vehicle.

1:20 a.m. – Current power outage numbers:

  • IPL – 374
  • Duke – 1,390
  • SCI REMC – 90
  • I&M – Zero

1:00 a.m. – Current snowfall numbers as reported to the National Weather Service

  • Fort Wayne – 9″
  • Granger, Ind. – 5.9″
  • Muncie – 5″
  • Castleton – 4″
  • Greenwood – 4″
  • Marion, Ind. – 3.5
  • Tipton – 3″
  • Indianapolis International Airport – 2.9″

Current accidents reported to the INDOT Traffic Management Center

  • WB I-465, Mile 7.0 – Semi vs. passenger vehicle crash. Reported in median
  • EB I-465, Mile 20.7 — Slide off reported
  • WB I-465, Mile 4.6 — Semi accident
  • NB I-69, Mile 201.6 — Property damage crash
  • NB I-69, Mile 208.5 — Right lane blocked due to crash
  • NB I-65, Mile 101.4 — Vehicle struck highway lighting pole.
  • SR 44 in both directions, Connersville, Ind. — Road closure due to power lines down

12:00 a.m. Wednesday - The Randolph County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency reported snowfall amounts nearing 10″. That heavy snow band was pushing west toward Muncie.

The Delaware County Emergency Operations Center reported the following road conditions: Roadway Status :
US 35, SR 3, SR 28, SR 67, SR 332, McGalliard, Tillotson, MLK, 29th, CR 600 W, CR 650 E, CR 700 S, CR 1000 N: Snow & Ice Covered
All speeds reduced to 20-30mph maximum. Visibility is approximately 1/4Mi

Several counties continue to be under various levels of travel advisories. Click here for a complete list of travel advisories.

Current power outage numbers:

  • IPL – 393
  • Duke – 2,058
  • SCI REMC – 90
  • I&M – Zero

Click here for Tuesday’s timeline

As city and state crews worked to clear Central Indiana roads and highways Tuesday night, drivers who ventured out say slow and steady was the only way to travel.

Many drivers said the main roads and secondary roads were slushy.

“Side streets are really slick. I don’t wanna slide into any parked cars,” said Jacqueline Frost.

Driver Pat McGuinness said driving defensively is the key.

“Just go the speed limit and go easy and drive defensively and stay out of the way of people who are acting erratically,” said McGuinness.

State and city road crews had a full call out of drivers working 12-hour shifts.

Both INDOT and Indy Snow Force say they will maintain those 12-hour shifts as long as necessary.

If you ask Mark Risvold, Winter weather has overstayed its welcome.

“I am done with snow,” said Risvold. “We are ready to see some blooming and see some color.  We are ready to get our guys out doing some patios and doing some landscaping.”

Risvold is a landscaper at B.A.M Outdoor and he has been setting up for the Indiana Flower and Patio Show.  This year he is pulling double-duty.

As Risvold and his team were setting up for the show, he had one eye on the weather and his cell phone nearby.  He waited for “the call.”   If Risvold got that call, he would leave the landscaping job, get behind the wheel of his plow truck and hit the streets.

“There are guys out there rolling right now, and I will probably be out there too in the next couple of hours,” said Risvold.

The Indiana Flower and Patio show’s executive director, Donell Heberer, said the snowy weather could actually increase weekend crowds.

“They are going to be dying to get in here when the show opens because we are all tired of all of this snow and cold weather,” said Heberer.

Risvold said he was working to push backyard barbecues and blooming flowers to the front of everyone’s minds, but he knew it would be a tough task as the snow fell.

“We will be pushing some snow out there later,” said Risvold.  “We will go pretty much all night, and probably all morning tomorrow.”

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for several counties surrounding Indianapolis.

Affected counties include Montgomery, Putnam, Hendricks, Morgan and Johnson Counties.

Several other counties had already been under a Winter Storm Warning for much of Tuesday. They included Boone, Carroll, Clinton, Decatur, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Howard, Jennings, Madison, Marion, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Tipton, and Warren Counties.

A Winter Storm Warning means heavy snow and other severe winter weather conditions are expected. Seven to nine inches of snow could accumulate and even higher amounts are possible in the northeast parts of Central Indiana.

The warning remains in effect until 7 a.m. Wednesday.