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6:05 p.m. State to continue to plow roads

From the Indiana  Department of Transportation: As the “Blizzard of 2012” moves out of Indiana, Indiana Department of Transportation snow plow truck drivers continue clearing state highways and battling areas of blowing snow.

All five INDOT subdistricts in East Central Indiana will remain on a full call-out through the night as winds are expected to continue and some additional snow accumulation is expected. INDOT’s Indianapolis Subdistrict has 68 trucks plowing and treating interstates, U.S. highways and state routes in the metropolitan area. Tipton, Greenfield, Cambridge City and Albany Subdistricts each have deployed between 25 and 30 trucks. Collectively, about 180 truck drivers continue working across East Central Indiana.

Current conditions have improved greatly and are favorable for deicing and snow removal, but drivers should remain cautious for slick spots. Pavement temperatures are expected to remain below freezing through the night but will remain high enough that night crews can continue deicing and clearing state highways. Motorists should drive cautiously near snow plows and give them plenty of room to work.

Drivers should be aware of the potential for overnight refreezing on roadways, especially on ramps and bridges, and slow down, maintain a safe distance and brake early.

4:19 p.m. Roads still slick, hazardous

From Indiana State Police: Roads remain slick and hazardous. As the first major storm of 2012 moves out of Indiana public safety personnel from all branches of city, county and state government will be working to clear roads and continue rendering assistance to motorists in need. Much of the cautionary advisory information sent out prior to the storm is still applicable as work continues to treat roads that are ice and snow covered.

3:41 p.m. Weather downgrade

The National Weather Service has downgraded the Blizzard Warning to a Winter Weather Advisory for much of Central Indiana.

1:45 p.m. If delivery is delayed, go to our e-edition

Daily Journal newspaper delivery may be delayed because of the weather. Because of that, we are opening our electronic edition of the paper up to all readers for a limited time.

Your username is: snowday

Your password is: blizzard2012

Here is a link to our e-edition: http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/e_edition/

1 p.m. Rumpke trash pickup delayed

Rumpke trash and recycling collection will not occur in Johnson County today.

Due to Christmas and the inclement weather, customers in the areas specified above who normally have service on Tuesday will be delayed until next week. Weather permitting, customers who normally have service Wednesday, Thursday or Friday will be on a one-day delay the remainder of the week. Customers in the impacted area may call (800) 678-6753 or visit www.rumpke.com for updates.

Rumpke customers in all areas should expect a one-day delay due to Christmas and New Year’s Day.

12:28 p.m. Newspaper delivery delays

If  Daily Journal home-delivery customers have not yet received their Wednesday edition, it's likely that roads leading to their homes are impassable due to heavy snow.

Editions of the Daily Journal that cannot be delivered today will be dropped off with Thursday's newspaper.

11:58 a.m. National Guard activated

More than 100 Indiana National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have been activated to assist the citizens and communities of Indiana, Indiana State Police troopers and local authorities throughout the state under the direction of Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

National Guard personnel will deploy 10 Highway Assistance Teams, consisting of a total of 40 personnel, that will augment emergency personnel with the evacuation of stranded motorists and shut-ins.  Additionally, six Armory Support Packages, consisting of a total of 24 personnel, have been initiated to provide life support and vehicle staging operations to emergency personnel during IDHS operations.

The Indiana National Guard will assist civil authorities in order to prevent loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure during the winter storm affecting the Hoosier state where a possible four to nine inches of snow is expected Wednesday.

11:28 a.m. State Road 37 open again

From the Indiana State Police: Officials have cleared the traffic that closed the southbound lane of State Road 37 at the Morgan-Monroe County line. The road is now open, however all roads in the Bloomington District remain snow covered, slick and extremely hazardous. Some areas are down to one lane and some remain impassable. 

11:16 a.m. Interstate ramps 'very slick'

From Indiana State Police: From 6 a.m. until about 10;30 a.m., District 52 (Indianapolis area) has handled, or is handling, about 103 call for service; 91 of those have been crashes or slideoffs. The remainder are disabled vehicles.

Interstate entrance and exit ramps are very slick and vehicles are becoming stuck and sliding as they attempt to manuver the grades of the ramps. Please stay off the roads if you do not need to travel.

10:53 a.m. Level I travel advisory issued

The Johnson County Commissioners have issued a Level I travel advisory. This level warning is for emergency personnel only and citizens are to stay off the roads unless for emergency-related travel.

10:30 a.m. Greenwood declares snow emergency

Mayor Mark Myer has declared a snow emergency. Only emergency vehicles will be allowed on city streets.

10:35 a.m. Flights canceled

From The Associated Press: The winter storm hitting Indiana has contributed to numerous flight cancellations at Indianapolis International Airport.

The airport expected to have about 300 passenger flights arriving or departing on Wednesday, but airport spokesman Carlo Bertolini says about a third of those have been cancelled before midmorning. Bertolini says about 20 flights departed Wednesday morning.

He says the Indianapolis airport's runways were open but that the storm's size was causing troubles at airline hubs as well.

Bertolini says it could take a few days to get travelers on other flights since most planes are at least 85 percent filled around Christmas. He recommends that travelers check with their airlines before heading to the airport.

10:15 a.m. More counties declare snow emergency

The following counties in the Bloomington District have issued a snow emergency and have limited travel only for emergencies and public safety personnel: Owen, Monroe, Brown and Morgan.

A snow emergency is declared when a major winter storm severely impacts a city or county. In a snow emergency, schools, universities, government offices and other public buildings may close. Typically, the emergency is declared by the mayor or other high official.

10:05 p.m. Dozens of vehicles in ditches

From The Associated Press: Indiana State Police say crews are working to free dozens of vehicles that are stuck on a central Indiana highway because they couldn't make it up a hill on the slick road.

Sgt. Curt Durnil says about 40 vehicles were stuck Wednesday morning on Indiana 37 near the Monroe-Morgan county line between Bloomington and Martinsville. He says it could take a couple hours for state highway crews to clear the roadway.

Durnil says the people in those vehicles aren't in any danger but that southbound traffic was being stopped at Martinsville at least until the tie-up is cleared.

Meanwhile, four state highway department snowplows slid off slick roads near Vincennes. Agency spokeswoman Cher Elliott says drivers who are stuck face a couple hours' wait for a tow truck.

9:45 a.m. Franklin under snow emergency

Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness has declared a snow emergency. Only emergency vehicles will be allowed on city streets.

9:35 a.m. 'Worst roads I've ever seen'

From a reader in the Center Grove area: Roads are dangerous in Center Grove. Many cars off the road. Very dangerous to be out at this time. These are the worst roads I've ever seen.

9:32 a.m. 'It will be bad soon'

From Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox: Since 7:30 a.m., we have had 11 slide-off accidents. None have been property damage or personal injury accidents. I recommend everyone stay off the roads. It will be bad soon.

9:30 a.m. Buses delayed

From IndyGo bus service: As of 9:30 a.m., several buses on IndyGo routes are running between 10 minutes and 30 minutes late. Routes 5, 19, 24, 25 and 30 are seeing delays closer to 20 minutes on some trips.

9:18 a.m. Road conditions changing quickly

From the Indiana Department of Transportation: Snow plow truck drivers are fighting what is expected to be a long battle with today’s snow storm.

Weather and roadway conditions are quickly changing as the storm continues to move north of the Interstate 70 corridor. Many roadways are covering with snow as snowfall rates increase and strong winds and gusts blow accumulation. Heavy snow and high winds are expected to continue through the day, which increases the potential for slick conditions and reduced visibility.

INDOT’s Indianapolis Subdistrict has 68 trucks plowing and treating interstates, U.S. highways and state routes in the metropolitan area.  Tipton, Greenfield, Cambridge City and Albany Subdistricts each have deployed between 25 and 30 trucks. Collectively, about 180 truck drivers across in East Central Indiana will be working alternating 12-hour shifts to keep state highways as safe as possible through the winter storm.

Drivers are encouraged to avoid driving unnecessarily, especially over the next few hours during the peak of heavy snowfall and strong winds. Drivers should know the conditions before leaving and plan extra time to drive appropriately for weather and road conditions.

9:15 a.m. Malls closed

All Simon malls closed, including Greenwood Park Mall and Edinburgh Premium Outlets.

8:56 a.m. Stay off roads, county officials say

County officials are recommending that local businesses close and that motorists stay off the roads.

Johnson County has declared a level two emergency, meaning that the county is recommending that people stay off the roads.

But the county could declare a level one emergency, which would allow only emergency vehicles on the roads, if the road conditions continue to get worse, said Stephanie Sichting, emergency management administrative assistant.

Plow drivers have been focusing on clearing the main roads that would be used by emergency vehicles, but that has been a struggle with the snow coming down so quickly, Sichting said.

Businesses should also close, so that employees would not need to be on the roads, she said. The county cannot force businesses to close, and can only make a recommendation, she said.

If motorists do have to go out, they should pack an emergency kit, including food, water, a blanket and a flashlight, she said. She said she hoped the snow would slow enough by this evening that the main roads could be cleared and plow workers could start plowing neighborhood streets.

8:52 a.m. Franciscan Physician Network Practices closed today

Closed: Center Grove Family Medicine; Center Grove Internal Medicine; Diabetes & Endocrinology Specialists;Franklin Township Family Medicine;Greenwood Pediatrics;Honey Grove Family Medicine;Indy Southside Surgical;Madison Avenue Family Medicine;McFarland Family Medicine;Neurosurgical Specialists;Orthopedic Specialists;Plainfield Family Medicine;Plainfield Sports and Family Medicine; Pulmonary & Sleep Specialists;South 31 Family Care;Southeast Family Medicine; Southport Family and Sports Medicine;Oncology Hematology; Specialists and Outpatient Infusion Center

8:52 a.m. Franciscan St. Francis Health outpatient services closed today

Closed: Behavioral Health; Outpatient Cardiac Rehab; Diabetes & Endocrinology; Family Medicine Residency Program; Greenbrooke Imaging Center; Weight Loss Center; Working Well

8:19 a.m. Bargersville government closed

From John Price, Bargersville town manager: Due to the forecasted blizzard conditions, we are closing all Town of Bargersville offices on Wednesday except for essential services (police, street department and necessary utilities for operation of plants.) If anyone has questions, they should contact their supervisor.  The decision to close government offices was made Tuesday night.

8:17 a.m. IndyGo bus service running on schedule

From IndyGo: As of 8 a.m., most IndyGo buses are running on schedule. Only three buses are more than 10 minutes late. As conditions worsen, passengers can expect to see more delays and even detours. For the safety of IndyGo passengers and employees, certain areas may see service interruptions until dangerous roads are cleared. 

IndyGo customer service is available at 317-635-3344 to assist bus riders with schedule and detour information Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

8 a.m. Officials urging residents to stay off roads

From The Associated Press: Officials across southern and central Indiana are asking people to stay off the roads as a strong winter storm moves through.

State police report more than 5 inches of snowfall in the Evansville area before dawn Wednesday with high winds causing drifts and whiteout conditions on many roads. Several counties have issues travel watches asking residents to make only essential driving trips.

State police Sgt. Todd Ringle says a couple state highway department snowplows have become stuck in the Evansville area. He says that should be a strong sign to drivers to stay off the roads.

Police say they've had many slide-off accidents and many cars becoming stuck, but no major accidents were immediately reported.

7:45 a.m. Roads snow covered

Roads in Johnson County are snow covered; visibility is limited because of falling and blowing snow.

4:30 a.m. County government closed

The Johnson County Commissioners have closed all courts and all non-essential government offices today.

Midnight

With high winds and significant amounts of snow in the forecast for much of Indiana, state officials are warning Hoosiers to prepare. Preparations include charging cell phones and other items in case power is interrupted, evaluating whether driving is necessary, taking your time if you decide to drive, and gathering items for your car and home in case they're needed.

Indiana agencies, including the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission have been monitoring impending weather and are increasing staffing levels as needed.

A travel "advisory" is notification that travel may be restricted in some areas.  Under a "watch" level, only essential travel is recommended. A travel advisory at a "warning" level means travel may be restricted to emergency personnel only.

If you become stranded:

  • Make sure you have at least a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle before you leave.  This will help prevent the fuel line from freezing.
  • Unless there is immediately accessible, better shelter such as a building, do not leave your car.
  • Keep the overhead light on when the engine is running so you can be seen (remember to keep the windows cracked).
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. Remember, an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If involved in a crash and no one is injured and the involved vehicles are still drivable, move to a safe area to exchange names, vehicle and license plate information, along with driver license number and insurance agent name and phone number with the other driver
  • During severe weather conditions law enforcement will be busy responding to emergency calls and will not be able to take reports of crashes where there is only damage to property
  • Vehicles left abandoned along interstate and state road right-of-ways are subject to immediate removal during inclement weather events

Power outages

With weather systems like this it's not uncommon to see widespread power outages. While utility companies will be working to quickly repair any outages, storms of this size and magnitude often make it very difficult to restore power immediately.

Essential supplies to gather ahead of time in case utilities are disrupted: 

  • Food and water for three days (includes three (3) gallons of water per person, per day)
  • Battery operated or hand crank all hazards radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • Extra clothing, warm blankets, sleeping bags for staying warm in your home if you lose power
  • Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications) 

If you can’t stay in your home due to cold temperatures, call your local authorities to find the location of a shelter. Charge cell phones, laptops and other devices now so that if power goes out, you will have a maximum charge on electronic devices.

Tuesday

8:13 p.m. Most Franklin city offices to close

From Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness: All non-essential city offices will be closed Wednesday.

7:45 p.m. State government offices announcement

From Gov. Mitch Daniels: State offices will be open on Wednesday. However, consistent with past practices, non-essential employees who live in areas where snow emergencies have been declared and where roads are closed for official vehicles only are not required to report to work.

5:04 p.m. Statewide emergency operations center to be activated

Under the direction of the Public Safety Director Troy Riggs and Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons, the Division of Homeland Security will be activating the Emergency Operations Center at 3  a.m. Wednesday. The EOC will be activated at Level III and may move into a Level II depending on the conditions and strength of this blizzard. 

4:14 p.m. Do not drive during storm, state police say.

From the Indiana State Police: Residents are reminded to avoid traveling unless the trip is absolutely necessary.

The state police issued these tips:

• Do not call city, county or state police to check on road conditions – police agencies across the state want to keep phone lines open for emergency phone calls

• If you must drive during any period of the storm a fully charged and functioning cell phone is your best friend

• If involved in a crash and no one is injured and the involved vehicles are still drivable, move to a safe area to exchange names, vehicle and license plate information, along with driver license number and insurance agent name and phone number with the other driver

• During severe weather conditions law enforcement will be busy responding to emergency calls and will not be able to take reports of crashes where there is only damage to property

• Vehicles left abandoned along interstate and state road right-of-ways are subject to immediate removal during inclement weather events

3 p.m. Weather service to issue blizzard warning

Blizzard warning remains in effect from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Precipitation expected to start after 1 a.m. Wednesday. Accumulation of 10 to 14 inches of snow.

Tuesday night: Snow, mainly after 1 a.m. Steady temperature around 31. Blustery, with a northeast wind 17 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Wednesday: Snow with areas of blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 33. Breezy, with a north northeast wind 20 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches possible.

Wednesday night: Areas of blowing snow. Cloudy, with a low around 23. North northwest wind 8 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10 percent.

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