Crews prepare for winter weather

CARMEL, Ind.-- Hoosiers are doing everything they can to get ready ahead of winter weather this weekend. For some families, that means enjoying the last few moments before the storm hits.

"I just like snow to play in it," Brooklyn Ray said as she got ready to ice skate in Carmel.

The city said it has shifts of people ready to come in starting at midnight.

"By the time it’s all over Carmel will have safe streets hopefully by Monday morning’s commute," city spokesman Dan McFeely said.

During last week's snow, the city said it utilized a pick up truck outfitted with AlGalCo's Hyrdrogen on Tap system to help plow snow, though it is not an official snow plow vehicle.

Company president and founder Kurt Koehler said after using the technology in military capacities, it looked for a way to help local governments utilize it.

"So what it means is when you burn hydrogen in an engine it burns without emissions just water vapor. So we can power any internal combustion engine and hold our part using hydrogen and it’s on demand," Koehler said.

Koehler said this increases fuel mileage and reduces emissions.

The Carmel City Street Department has one vehicle.

"If this technology proves to be over time as good as it has been we may look at putting it in our entire fleet of trucks," McFeely.

Trucks across Central Indiana are preparing to do their own plowing, too.

INDOT will have 65 trucks out in Indianapolis by early Saturday morning and more than 200 across Central Indiana.

Indy DPW will have 80 trucks rolling out at 11 p.m. Friday, a full call out.

“Their field of vision is restricted while t hey're up in those trucks so keep your space between your car and our trucks just for the safety of everyone on the road," DPW public information officer Charnay Pickett said.

DPW pointed out a typical sedan can weigh 1 1/2 to 2 tons, while a snow plow can weigh near 40 tons and have visibility issues , so drivers need to give them extra space and steer clear of them.

The Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety offers these safety tips, too:

  • Heating your home:
    • When using a space heater, remember to keep a clear three-foot perimeter, plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet, keep pets and children away from the heater, and never leave it unattended.
    • Never use a stove, oven, or candle to heat your home.
    • Residents who may lack adequate heating should make plans to seek alternate overnight shelter beginning Saturday. Residents in need of warm shelter can call Connect2Help by dialing 2-1-1.
    • Many household fires are preventable. Residents are asked to make sure smoke detectors are in working order. If you need a smoke detector, please call IFD’s Fire and Life Safety Division at 317-327-6093.
  • Staying safe outdoors:
    • Check the weather forecast frequently and dress accordingly. In the expected extreme cold over the weekend, the National Weather Service recommends dressing in layers, covering exposed skin to reduce your risk of frostbite or hypothermia, and changing into dry clothing immediately upon returning indoors if you are wet.
    • When outdoors for an extended period of time, take frequent “warm up” breaks.
    • Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia and seek immediate medical attention if they are detected.
  • Vulnerable populations:
    • Residents are encouraged to check on elderly or disabled family members and neighbors.
    • Residents in need of warm shelter can visit malls, libraries, and Indy Parks facilities during normal business hours. A list of Indy Parks facilities and hours is attached, and Indy Public Library hours can be found here. Residents may also call 211 for help finding warm shelter.
    • Citizens with disabilities or those who may need non-emergency medical or health-related assistance during winter weather events should call 211.
  • Utilities:
    • Any power outages or downed power lines should be reported to IPL immediately by calling 317-261-8111.
    • Maintain a moderate temperature in your home or leave a slow drip on all faucets to keep pipes from freezing.
    • Clear snow from around fire hydrants so they can be quickly accessed in the case of an emergency. During extreme temperature periods, a Citizens Energy Group hydrant specialist will respond on all working fires to be available should the need arise for help with water access issues.
  • Travel:
    • Check conditions before your tip and plan accordingly.
    • Allow for extra time.
    • If you start sliding, turn slightly into the skid.
    • Slow down and know when it’s time to quit.
    • #DontCrowdThePlow – leave at least three car lengths between yourself and Indy DPW trucks to allow them space to clear roadways.

 

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