Suspension of non-essential outdoor work, warming center among Indy’s plans for polar blast

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Dangerously cold weather has arrived in Indianapolis—and it will only get worse Tuesday night through Thursday afternoon.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and other officials outlined the city’s plans for handling the extreme cold. Hogsett said non-essential outdoor work would be suspended during the cold blast; the city already said trash pickup would be suspended Wednesday and Thursday.

The city will open an emergency center at Indy Parks Municipal Gardens (1831 Lafayette Rd.) beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday. It will stay open until 9 p.m. Thursday and Hogsett said the center will be staffed around the clock.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s homeless unit has been canvassing the city to help connect those who live outdoors to community shelters and other resources.

Polar air will sweep into central Indiana Tuesday night, and a Wind Chill Warning goes into effect at 10 p.m. Central Indiana could see wind chills between 20 below and 40 below. The warning continues through Thursday at 1 p.m.

“What this means is that real temperatures, when combined with wind chill, may very well fall to extraordinarily dangerous levels,” Hogsett said.

“Please take precautions. If you have to be outside, bundle up,” he said. “Be advised that frostbite and hypothermia are at increased risk. Even ten minutes of exposure may very well be harmful.”


Hogsett and other officials urged Indy residents to check on their neighbors, especially the elderly. If you lose heat or need non-emergency services, you should call 211. In case of emergency, call 911.

Hogsett noted the cold, while significant, will be short-lived, with weekend temperatures expected to hit the 40s and 50s. But during the polar blast, make no mistake about it–going outside will be dangerous.

The city offered the following tips:

  • Check on neighbors and family members
  • Keep your pets indoors (it’s the law in Indianapolis)
  • Don’t go outside unless you have to
  • Leave your water running during the arctic cold snap
  • Open your cabinets
  • If you use space heaters, keep them 36 inches away from anything that could catch fire

City agencies will have extra manpower to respond quickly to emergencies, Hogsett said. IMPD’s Homeland Security Bureau will activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to monitor conditions and provide a coordinated response to emergencies.

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