Indianapolis city leaders preparing for potentially deadly winter storm

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Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and other city leaders are urging residents to prepare for dangerous wintry conditions that will include a heavy snowfall followed by sub-zero temperatures not seen since the 1970’s.

Forecasters are predicting between 6 to 10 inches of snow falling on Indy between Saturday and Sunday evening. Then, temperatures are expected to plummet with lows around -17 and highs remaining below zero. High winds will also cause drifting snow and generate wind chill factors between -35 and -45 degrees.

“This is a potentially very, very dangerous weather situation. I encourage all residents to spend the next two days preparing themselves for the snow and the extreme cold,” said Mayor Greg Ballard.

Ballard is encouraging residents to also check on their neighbors especially the elderly. However, the city is asking that no one drive on Sunday unless it is an emergency situation.

“We’re expecting a low in Indy of 17 degrees below zero by Tuesday morning. In the outlying areas, it could be 20 below zero or 22 below zero, and we’re looking at wind chill factors of 35 and 45 degrees below zero,” said Dan McCarthy with the Indianapolis NWS. He warned that frostbite could set in in five minutes.

Indy SnowForce has been operating continuously since Wednesday morning and will continue operations throughout the new storm.
11 Solid Waste trucks will be fit with snowplows to assist the SnowForce on the streets.

Trash pick-up next Monday and Tuesday is being canceled.  Residents will be allowed double the amount picked up the following Monday and Tuesday.

The Indy SnowForce will be assisted by an army of more than 300 private contractors to help clear snow on secondary streets and in residential neighborhoods beginning at approximately 7 p.m. Sunday. However, private contractors cannot drop salt in the neighborhoods, so they will not scrape streets to bare pavement which would cause icing.

IMPD and homeless support organizations are urging homeless people to seek shelter now.

Area homeless shelters are readied to handle the anticipated influx of people and overflow shelters are being placed on standby.

Indy Parks will open 17 community centers for people who need temporary shelter from the cold.

IPL and Citizens Energy Group are suspending utility disconnections for non-payment during the storm.