City leaders urge preparation ahead of storm

Snow, bitter cold expected Sunday

INDIANAPOLIS - City leaders say the incoming storm has the potential to be dangerous and they are asking residents to prepare now.

It is possible that parts of the state will see 6 to 12 inches of snow and possibly the coldest temperatures in 20 years.

Officials say now is the time for people to look after their homes, their cars and their neighbors.

MORE: CDC Extreme Cold Guide

Department of Public Works Director Lori Miser encouraged residents to remove their cars from streets on Sunday if at all possible.

Troopers with the Indiana State Police also warned that any abandoned cars on the sides of major highways will be towed to allow INDOT snow removal crews to operate more efficiently.

Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs urged residents not to use cooking appliances to warm their homes to decrease the chance of a fire.

If the power goes out while residents are home, they should call 211. Those on the other end of the call will direct callers to one of 17 community centers that have been turned into warming shelters.

"We're not trying to supplement Wheeler or something along those lines. We are looking at something that’s very local and for individuals that don't normally need a shelter," Andrew Stephens with Indy Parks and Recreation said.

It is also OK to call 211 if there are safety concerns about a family member, friend or neighbor.

"We can try to connect her up with a resource in the community. We might have the police department do a wellness check to make sure that she is OK," Ann Hartman with Connect2Help said.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said don't be shy and take up the responsibility to help others.

"Please check on the elderly and your relatives that need the help over these next few days. That is absolutely critical," Ballard said.

Ballard said the city is working with area homeless shelters to clear as many beds as possible for those in need.

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