INDIANA, (WOWO): Leaders with the state of Indiana released the following winter storm update:
Today, temperatures continued to rise, but were not forecasted to go above freezing. Highs will be approaching 30 degrees and finally breaking freezing Thursday afternoon.
Governor Pence’s Executive Order
Governor Mike Pence signed an executive order on January 6, that declares a state of disaster emergency for 29 counties affected by the severe winter weather that began on Sunday, January 5. The counties are: Clinton, Delaware, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Howard, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Marshall, Montgomery, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, Rush, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, White, and Whitley.
The following counties have locally declared a state of disaster emergency: Allen*, Boone*, Carroll*, Clay*, Clinton, DeKalb*, Delaware, Elkhart, Fountain*, Fulton, Grant, Henry*, Howard, Jasper, Johnson*, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Marshall, Miami*, Montgomery, Morgan*, Newton, Noble, Owen*, Perry*, Porter, Pulaski, Putnam*, Randolph*, Rush, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Wells*, White, and Whitley.
*Indicates the disaster declaration was received after the governor’s executive order and the county may be added later.
Greene and Perry counties have been removed from list. Their previous designation was incorrect.
Travel Advisories (as of 5:30 p.m. ET)
Red counties (travel warning): 0
Orange counties (travel watch): 41
Yellow counties (travel advisory): 33
White counties (no restrictions): 18
Even if your county is not designated as “red,” the highest warning on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) travel advisory map, travel conditions still may not be safe for driving. The IDHS County Travel Status Map can be found here:http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/.
Drivers are strongly urged to evaluate travel routes. Information on state highways can be found through INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service at http://www.trafficwise.in.gov.
Flights are beginning to depart from Indianapolis International Airport; however a number are still delayed or cancelled. Travelers are advised to check with their airline to see the status of their flights. The following link provides up-to-the-minute information on flight statuses at Indianapolis International Airport: http://www.indianapolisairport.com/flightstatus.aspx.
There are 3 shelters currently open. The open shelters have a total occupancy of 53, with a total capacity of 3,458.
Since the storm hit on Sunday, January 5, Connect2Help 2-1-1 has responded to more than 2,500 calls for help from Hoosiers in 67 counties. The top needs were for emergency shelter and transportation for dialysis appointments. The 2-1-1 service was able to connect more than 100 of these callers to arrange transportation through local emergency agencies, the Indiana National Guard, and the State of Indiana Emergency Operations Center, which is led and managed by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
Connect2Help is a nonprofit organization that connects people to who need human services with those who provide them.
State Emergency Operations Center Status
The SEOC is reducing staff but will still be at an increased activation level, with approximately 4 personnel, staffing logistics, planning, fiscal and administration positions. These personnel will support those active in the field. The Indiana National Guard will still be represented overnight to support deployed Highway Assistance Teams.
INNG: Indiana National Guard has 4 Highway Assistance Teams (HAT) and 26 guardsmen deployed. Teams assist local law enforcement, emergency medical services, and public safety professionals in life saving operations. They have transported individuals to shelters and dialysis clinics, rescued stranded motorists and law enforcement, and performed route recon to help authorities determine safe travel routes. As of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, INNG has assisted 39 stranded motorists, 30 law enforcement agencies, transported 43 citizens, performed 31 route recons, and conducted 26 presence patrols. Teams are beginning life safety patrols on state roads and US highways in Districts 1 through 8. Counties in each district can be found on the following map:http://www.in.gov/dhs/2797.htm.
ISP: The central and northern Indiana State Police posts continue to respond to multiple weather related calls for service. The calls consist of stranded motorists that have slid off Interstates, US Highways and State Roads. Additional calls have been for collisions involving property damage and injury. The state police districts receiving the most calls for service are Lowell, Toll Road, Ft. Wayne, Bremen, Peru, Lafayette, Pendleton, Terre Haute and Indianapolis.
INDOT: The Indiana Department of Transportation has 527 yellow plow trucks statewide clearing and treating the interstates, U.S. highways and state routes.
S.R. 235 is closed between County Road 460 W and Mill Street in Jackson County due to high water.
Increased travel and warmer temperatures will make it easier for salt and other anti-icing chemicals to lower the temperature at which the snow and ice melt.
BOAH: The Indiana Board of Animal Health PETS Trailer has completed its efforts to support Hamilton County. Animal Control requested the trailer to support sheltering efforts that were being relocated to the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. The PETS Trailer, acquired by BOAH as a state resource in 2010, will provide additional hard-line resources (such as crates and water bowls) for up to 75 small animals.
DNR: Indiana Conservation Officers with the Department of Natural Resources continue to patrol, mainly by truck and occasionally snowmobile. They report having responded to more than 100 slide-offs and accidents, mostly in northern and west central counties. In one instance, a Conservation Officer used a snowmobile to deliver medicine (insulin for a 12-year-old) to a snowbound home in Whitley County. Another Conservation Officer spent three hours Monday transporting medical personnel to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Michigan City.
IDHS: Indiana Department of Homeland Security is the coordinating agency for this incident, providing logistics, planning, fiscal, administrative, and leadership positions in the SEOC. IDHS also has field staff across the state who are assisting local agencies.
At least seven deaths related to snow or cold weather have been confirmed. Other deaths and their relation to the storm are being evaluated.
There are currently 2,848 power outages statewide, down from a peak of 71,162. The majority of the power outages are in the Indianapolis area.