The Indiana Department of Transportation is preparing for a major winter storm expected to impact the state starting Thursday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter storm warnings for much of Indiana starting Thursday afternoon through at least Friday, depending upon location. Blizzard warnings have been issued for counties bordering Lake Michigan. NWS is calling for snow with high winds and dangerously cold temperatures, causing snow-covered roadways and low visibility for holiday travel.
INDOT will be at a full call in most locations with nearly 1,000 trucks treating and plowing highways across the state by Thursday afternoon through the weekend. Trucks will remain out in full force for the duration of the storm and afterward to continue cleanup efforts.
Road conditions will be difficult as the storm moves through. INDOT's goal is to keep highways passable during the storm. Travel should be carefully considered Thursday afternoon through at least Friday morning. Motorists that must travel should expect to encounter snow and ice-covered roads, blowing and drifting snow, and whiteout conditions due to high winds.
Light rain and some wintry mix is expected during the day Thursday, and will make a rapid transition to snow once the cold front passes through. Due to rain, pre-treatment will be challenging, but will occur in some locations as conditions allow. Drivers should note that without pre-treatment, highways are more likely to develop slick spots and snow will more easily stick to pavement and bridges. Low temperatures will also impact the effectiveness of salt. INDOT is prepared to utilize additives as necessary to help the salt melt snow and ice from roadways.
INDOT urges motorists to closely monitor forecasts and adjust holiday travel to avoid higher-impact timeframes during the storm, which are anticipated Thursday evening through Friday morning in most areas. Travel impacts may linger through Saturday in the northern part of the state. Avoiding travel will keep drivers safe at home and give plow trucks room to work safely and complete their routes as quickly as possible.
If travel is absolutely necessary, slow down, increase following distance, don't crowd plow trucks, allow extra time to reach your destination, and pack an emergency kit with supplies such as blankets, extra clothing, snacks, water and a phone charger.
Monitor real-time travel conditions and view traffic and snow plow cameras online at 511in.org or via INDOT's TrafficWise app. Regular updates will also be shared on INDOT's social media channels. Check for travel advisories in your area at in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory.