INDIANAPOLIS - Central Indiana motorists took to Twitter and Facebook early Thursday morning to complain about a perceived lack of road crews as snow fell heavily during the overnight and early-morning hours.
Commute times were tripled for many as motorists returning to work after the holidays were treated to snow-packed highways and the resulting creeping traffic.
Forecasts called for 3 to 5 inches of accumulation, and Indianapolis had more than 6 inches on the ground as of 5 p.m.
"Here's a question. Where are the road crews?" Beverly Ward McKenney wrote to RTV6 on Facebook.
"We knew it was coming. Plows anywhere?" wrote James Grable.
Traffic on many of the major interstates around Indianapolis moved at 20 mph or less, and there were numerous slide-offs, compounding an already difficult commute.
Motorists called out the Indiana Department of Transportation and Indianapolis Department of Public Works.
"It's 7:10 a.m. (Interstate) 465 between Allisonville (Road) and Meridian (Street) has not even been plowed," wrote Shannon Morris. "Someone needs to get on this and find out why. Completely inexcusable at this hour that a MAJOR highway hasn't been plowed!"
"It was painfully obvious that they weren't out. It was broadcast far and wide that it was going to snow. What happened?" a commuter wrote in an email to RTV6. "There were accidents everywhere due to lack of plowing. Our tax dollars hard at work? I think not."
Indianapolis City-County Councilor Zach Adamson echoed motorists' frustration.
"Looks like both INDOT and city dropped the ball today. Interstates and local roads are in terrible shape. Be careful out there," Adamson tweeted.
Others were sympathetic to the plight of plow drivers.
"People expect them to be out plowing when the traffic is back-to-back," wrote Patti Vaughn. "Stay out of their way and it would be done."
Both DPW and INDOT insisted they had a full call-out of drivers pre-treating and plowing roads. But they said it was a perfect storm of the worst-possible conditions as snow continued to fall through rush hour at about an inch per hour.
"It can take our drivers much more than an hour, sometimes two to three hours to run their route, especially if they're in heavy traffic. If they're stuck in heavy traffic it's going to take them that much more time when we're seeing that rate of accumulation that snow is building up on the roadways. So it might have the appearance that they haven't been plowed, but our truck drivers are out there," INDOT spokesman Nathan Riggs said.
Check out some of the Twitter conversation about the snow below.