INDIANAPOLIS — Central Indiana is forecasted to get a serious winter storm the same day as the busiest travel day of the holiday season.
AAA predicts 112 million Americans are expected to travel for the holidays this year, the third biggest crowd since AAA started tracking the data in 2000 and 95% of pre-pandemic levels.
For Hoosiers hitting the road, this coincides with potential snow, wind gusts and blizzard-like conditions on Friday.
Indiana Dept. of Transportation spokesperson Kyleigh Cramer said now is the time to adjust plans.
”Just planning for Plan A, B, C and D,” Cramer said.
INDOT met Monday morning to go over its plan for clearing roads and calling in drivers. Friday is supposed to be a day off for the whole staff.
”We’re checking out our trucks,” Cramer said. “We haven’t seen any dustings, truly, since November.”
AAA spokesperson Lisa Wall said anyone planning to travel for the holidays, especially in the predicted weather conditions, will need to be prepared with enough to go around.
”You’re going to have a car potentially loaded down with all your family, presents,” Wall said. “Having something to keep everyone warm and safe if you do run into any issues on the road is definitely something you want to think about.”
Before heading out, Wall said people should check car batteries and tire treads. It is also important to ensure the proper supplies are on hand for if you get stranded.
”Food, snacks, water, medications, if you need them. Those are things to consider,” Wall said. “Blankets, warm clothes, anything like that can all go a long way if you end up stranded.”
If you’re on that long road trip, Wall said this isn’t the time to run the gas tank all the way down to empty.
”If you were to get stranded you want to do what you can to conserve fuel, but having fuel in your tank is going to be something that is really important,” she said.
Wherever you are headed later this week on the roads, make sure to take it slow.
”Give yourself plenty of time because there is going to be a lot of people and weather makes everything more complicated,” Wall said.
If you are driving for the holidays this year Wall said the best time to leave is earlier in the morning because highways usually get more crowded as the day goes on.