WASHINGTON — The bottom line in the face of today’s blizzard conditions is “if you don’t have to go out, don’t.”
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for most of the state, including Daviess and Martin counties, which will remain in effect until 7 p.m. Heavy snow and strong winds are causing white-out conditions and drifting, making travel treacherous. Travel is restricted to emergency personnel only during a blizzard warning.
“There was green grass at 3 a.m.,” said Daviess County Emergency Management Director Paul Goss. “Around 4 o’clock is when it started. There was zero visibility for a while.”
It didn’t take long for the snow to accumulate. The NWS expects it to continue throughout the day, with accumulations of 8 to 10 inches. The temperature was about 31 degress with a wind chill of 17 degrees Wednesday morning.
“Snow totals vary, but here I have 9 inches,” said Cher Elliott, spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Southwest District in Vincennes, at about 10 a.m. Wednesday.
A north wind of 28 mph, with gusts of up to 37 mph, is causing the snow to blow and decrease visibility as well as creating drifts. Goss said the conditions caused the northbound I-69 on-ramp at U.S. 50 to be closed.
“We’ve been out in full force since about four this morning,” Elliott said. “Snow has caused white-out conditions from time to time and there is very limited visibility. Cars have slid off several roadways. Don’t get out unless you have to.”
Goss said sheriff’s deputies are having to use four-wheel-drive vehicles to get through on county roads.
He said it’s a challenge getting emergency vehicles out to people, but so far there haven’t been a lot of emergency calls.
He said there were a number of early-morning slide-offs when some people tried to drive to work. Though Goss said he understands some people feel like they need to go to work, it’s just not safe and citizens are being asked to stay off the roads unless there’s an emergency.