Travel Warnings Still In Place During Indiana Winter Storm

Counties, State Tell Drivers To Stay Off Roads

Travel warnings remained in place Wednesday evening in dozens of Indiana counties as a powerful winter storm pulled away from the state.

Travelers in multiple Indiana counties were told to stay off the roads entirely. As of 7 p.m., those counties included Boone, Brown, Clinton, Grant, Putnam and Tipton.

More: County Travel Status Map Check: Traffic Map | Traffic Cams Uncut Video: |

Numerous other counties were under a travel watch status, with travel limited to emergency situations and to and from work.

"I've been doing this now for about 20 years and this is the worst I've ever seen it as far as trying to push the snow," said plow truck driver Terry Smith. "It's got that crust on it."

Emily Norcross, public information officer for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, said about 800 Indiana National Guard members assisted stranded motorists in several places overnight.

"If you're not an emergency responder, and your county is under a warning, you really need to be staying off the roads," Norcross said. "Just use common sense. There are a lot of … county roads that are still impassable."

In Indianapolis, Mayor Greg Ballard pulled back from an earlier travel watch, which had asked motorists to only travel to and from work and in emergency situations, to a travel advisory. All city offices opened after a two-hour delay on Wednesday.

Indiana State Police asked drivers to stay home.

"I believe people are making the conscious decision to stay home," said ISP Trooper Sean Schaefer, of the Lafayette post. "If you can avoid going on the road, I would highly recommend it."

More than 700 schools an organizations had cancelled classes or activities for the day. The Indiana Department of Transportation said road conditions in central Indiana are generally better than expected.

"We’re in a lot better shape than we thought we would be in," said Harry Maginity, of INDOT. "The ice storm dissipated, temperatures warmed up, and snow accumulations won’t be too significant."

The American Red Cross has set up several warming centers along Indiana highways so motorists can stop, rest and get warm, if needed. Twenty-six shelters are on standby ready for action, if needed.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works and Indiana Department of Transportation have numerous crews working the roads in central Indiana. Will Wingfield, of INDOT, said 770 of its drivers were on the state's highways and that drivers from southern districts that didn't have icy conditions were sent northward.

Indianapolis International Airport said many airlines had canceled flights to and from the city.

Stay with Storm Team 6 and TheIndyChannel.com for the latest winter storm information.