The Washington Times-Herald

December 28, 2012

Digging out: Roads still can be slick

By Andrea McCann
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has downgraded a blizzard warning to a watch for Daviess County.

A watch means conditions are threatening to the safety of the public, and only essential travel, emergencies and work commutes, is recommended.

Besides the snow accumulations, temperatures remain below freezing, dropping even lower at night, and there could be slick spots on the roads where slush refreezes.

³Crews have continued to work throughout the night and roads are improving,² Cher Elliott, spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Transportation Southwest Region, posted on Facebook. ³We do have some secondary roads that are battling drifting and making it difficult.² Facebook users can follow Elliott¹s updates by liking the INDOT Southwest page at facebook.comINDOTVincennesDistrict.

³Roads in Daviess County are much improved,² Elliott said in a follow-up.

³We still have some drifting going on, especially on (SR) 58.²  ³Sunshine and warmer temperatures are helping with the melting. (Drivers) will need to watch after dark for refreezing. Also watch for slick spots on bridges, overpasses and elevated portions of roadways.² Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit said a portion of highway almost had to be closed Wednesday night. He said SR 358, between SR 57 and the Elnora turnoff at SR 58, was drifting badly thanks to the north wind. In addition, he said there are dips in the road that filled with snow.

³We had several cars off there,² Harbstreit said. ³The wrecker even had trouble getting to them.² The sheriff said his deputies also had trouble getting through Wednesday night, even in their four-wheel-drive vehicles. But, he added, traffic seemed to be flowing pretty good on Thursday after state highway trucks cleared the roads.

As of about 1 p.m. Thursday, he said the county¹s roads were in relatively good shape. He said the county and state highway trucks did a good job clearing roads, and salt they¹d applied was effective.

Calls to the department had tapered off, he added, always a good sign.

³We haven¹t had a lot of calls today,² Harbstreit said. ³We had several yesterday. They tell me the roads are pretty clear. It seems like everybody¹s driving safe.² People should continue to proceed with caution, as the area isn¹t in the clear yet. The National Weather Service is forecasting a 40-percent chance of snow  today and 30-percent chance on Monday. Daytime high temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid-30s, which could lead to some melting, but nighttime lows are expected to be in the teens and 20s, which will lead to refreezing.

To follow the NWS predictions for your area, go online to http://www.noaa.gov/ and type your city and state into the box on the left side of the page.