A Flash Freeze will occur this evening and into the overnight hours. Strong wind gusts between 40-50 mph beginning tonight and continue through Friday night. Snow totals are estimated to be between 3-5 in. with heaviest amounts occurring late this evening through Friday. We may see heavier amounts north of U.S. 6. Friday day and night and into Saturday morning, there will be widespread blowing and drifting, with poor visibility and bitterly cold and dangerous wind chills ( -20 to -35 below zero). Sunday will be remaining cold with below-zero windchills.
Extremely hazardous/dangerous driving conditions will result in an increase in accidents and slide-offs. Drifting across roads may result in an increased number of calls for assistance from drivers who become stranded. Drifted roads may impact emergency response times. Exposure to extreme cold will result in frostbite and possibly hypothermia. Strong wind gusts may damage trees or tree branches which could lead to power outages and cause heating issues for homeowners and businesses. Frozen water lines are likely.
The Marshall County Highway Superintendent has developed a “Snow-Fight” plan which includes assisting emergency response agencies as needed. Agreements have also been made to utilize private contractors with front-end loaders if that should become necessary.
Warming Centers have been established by the City of Plymouth at the Conservation Club House, the Town of Bourbon will be making the Matchett Center available and in Argos, the Municipal Building will be available. Residents who need shelter will need to contact their local law enforcement agency for access to the warming centers. The information was shared with Marshall County Dispatch Center. Warming Center information was also provided to United Way 2-1-1.
NIPSCO sent out an email indicating that they are preparing available NIPSCO crews and contractor resources to respond to this anticipated weather event.
Dave Lewallen with Marshall County REMC has advised that they will have crews available to respond if needed.
A Red Cross member has been working to find a facility and volunteers if a shelter is needed.
The sheriff’s department has advised EMA Director Avery that their Hummers are prepped and ready to respond.
Rachel Greenwood from INDOT and Avery will be communicating as needed during the event to maintain situational awareness during the winter storm event.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security advised that the Indiana National Guard Highway Assistance Teams (H.A.T.) will be activated tonight and will be stationed out of the Peru state police post. We will not have any assets stationed at the Plymouth Armory. Their mission will be to rescue stranded motorists and transport them to the nearest facility that has heat. They will be able to communicate with I.S.P. and INDOT. They will NOT be pulling cars out of ditches or digging cars out of snow. Vehicles that have had passengers removed will be flagged with green tape to help eliminate multiple emergency response calls for the same vehicle.
Marshall County Highway will plan to follow the scheduled times listed:
Dec. 23rd Friday Morning:
Start time 8:00 am
Shut down between 6:00 and 8:00 pm
Will have on 4 to 5 employees on call to occasionally run mainlines, and assist with Emergency Calls for EMS or Fire until 10:00 pm.
Dec 24th Saturday Morning:
Start time 6:00 am
Shut down between 4:00 and 5:00 pm
T.B.D 4 or 5 employees on call to occasionally run mainlines, and assist with Emergency Calls for EMS or Fire until 8:00pm.
Dec 25th Sunday Morning:
Start time 12:00 am
Shut down between 5:00 and 6:00 am
Will have drivers on call throughout the county for emergencies. Will dispatch driver/s based on location for quickest response time to incident for assistance.
Marshall County Highway Department will make every effort to serve the public to the best of there abilities. Sub-Contractors and part-time drivers have been contacted to assist and help if needed.
Based on the current forecast, wind will be the biggest challenge for the Highway Department.
Excessive drifting and blowing snow.
Things to consider in drifting areas.
When a snowplow goes through snow drifts and is plowing the snow off, when that drift come back across the road, it is possibly going to be twice as deep as it was.
So something to consider when driving through snow drifts you might have made it through the first time, but just keep in mind if a plow truck has went down the road and it drifts back out it is going to be more challenging to get through.
Things to consider in blowing snow.
Visibility is reduced considerably, and the snow coming off the plow blades can make it even worse. Dont follow plow trucks to close, the snow from the plow truck can blow behind and cause a complete white out for vehicles following behind, leave plenty of distance.
If conditions are bad, and the highway has to use v plow. Make ever effort possible to avoid passing by.
V plows discharge snow in both directions, and if the snow is deep enough, the plow will still discharge snow off the blade even if it is all the way up. V plows are carried low to the ground and can not be lifted very high, there main purpose is to cut through snow drifts with less effort, but they have to keep moving. If a driver has to stop while in the process of plowing through a drift, most likely they will get hung up.
Drive safe, be cautious of your surroundings due this winter event!