QUIET BEFORE THE STORM
Storm drops heavy snow in southern Ind.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 10:00 AM
INDIANAPOLIS - A winter storm brought whiteout conditions to parts of southwestern Indiana early today and was forecast to blanket much of the state's south with up to a foot of snow.
Main Street was quiet as snow began falling in downtown Madison shortly before 8 a.m. today. Forecasters predicted the area would get from 3 to 6 inches of snow before the storm moved eastward. City, county and state road crews were out salting roads. (Staff photo by Evan Shields)
Snow began falling in Madison shortly before 8 a.m. and accumulated quickly. At about 8:30 a.m., Mayor Damon Welch advised residents to use roadways for emergency travel only.
Doug Vest, city street supervisor, said the city had all five trucks out clearing the streets. Michigan Road, Telegraph Hill Road, Green Road, State Street and Cragmont Street will be the focus for the city highway crews, as well as streets surrounding King's Daughters' Hospital.
Darrell Gayle, Jefferson County highway superintendent, said the county will have nine trucks out laying down salt and sand this morning. Most of the trucks will have plowing capabilities, but will not start plowing until there is greater accumulation.
The county sometimes pre-treats the roadways with salt, but the recent rainfall would have washed anything away, Gayle said.
In Kentucky, roads crews in Trimble and Carroll counties began patrolling roadways around midnight.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 5 spokesperson Andrea Clifford said crews started treating the roadways in Trimble County with salt at 4 a.m. when sleet coated the roads with a layer of ice. Crews started plowing around 8 a.m. when snow began to fall in the area.
"You have to have a certain amount of snow to plow," Clifford said, noting salt could take care of minor snow issues.
Crews will continue to plow and salt roadways throughout the day to help with driving conditions.
The National Weather Service said about 6 inches of snow had fallen before daybreak in Evansville, in the far southwest. State police reported numerous slide-off accidents, saying some roads in and around Evansville were impassable with wind gusts around 30 mph. A blizzard warning was in effect for much of the state's southern two-thirds.
"People need to not travel. They need to just go where they're going to be and stay there," said Rachel Trevino, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service bureau in Paducah, Ky., which covers southwestern Indiana.
Six to 10 inches of snow was expected to fall today in central Indiana, with the heaviest amounts expected south and southeast of Indianapolis, weather service meteorologist Jason Puma said.
Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman Ian Connor said the state emergency operations center would help coordinate counties' storm response, shifting police or firefighters to areas where they were most needed.
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