Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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February 21, 2013

Motorists warned of impending storm

Weather forecasters are calling for a chance of snow and ice accumulations later this evening, continuing into Friday morning.

Central Indiana could get up to an inch or more of snow, as well as sleeting rain.

Weather predictions indicate about an inch of snow and sleet accumulation is possible along the Interstate 70 corridor, with two-inch amounts possible north of that area. Accumulation will be less to the south, where more rain will fall.

As a result, state officials are advising Hoosiers to evaluate whether they need to travel, or, if they need to travel, to leave more time.

Leaving extra time and having a mindset of courtesy and defensive driving will help make roadways safer for everyone.

State of Indiana agencies, including the Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security have been monitoring impending weather and are increasing staffing levels as needed.

Residents are being told not to call city, county, or state police to check on road conditions as police agencies across the state want to keep phone lines open for emergency calls. Instead, motorists may call toll-free 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) for updated Indiana travel information, including road conditions, road closures, crashes, and other traffic alerts.

Motorists are advised to have a safety kit in their vehicles that includes blankets, water, a small shovel, and other items that may be helpful in the event they get stranded. Motorists should also make sure they have at least a quarter tank of gas in their vehicle before leaving in order to prevent the fuel line from freezing.

Should anyone become stranded in their vehicle, officials advise that they:

— Not leave the vehicle. It will provide the best protection, unless there is a building immediately nearby.

— Keep the overhead light on when the engine is running so they can be seen (remember to keep the windows cracked).

— Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see.

— Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm (an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour).

— Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

— If involved in a crash where no one is injured and the involved vehicles are still drivable, move to a safe area to exchange names, vehicle and license plate information, along with driver’s license numbers and insurance agent’s names and phone numbers with the other driver.

During severe weather conditions law enforcement will be busy responding to emergency calls and will not be able to take reports of crashes where there is only damage to property.

Vehicles left abandoned along interstate and state road right-of-ways are subject to immediate removal during inclement weather events

With weather systems like this it’s not uncommon to see widespread power outages. While utility companies will be working to quickly repair any outages, storms of this size and magnitude often make it very difficult to restore power immediately. Those who do lose power should call their utility company’s outage reporting line so that they can track where loss has occurred.

Everyone is advised to charge their cell phones and other items in case power is interrupted.

For more information on winter travel safety, visit the website at Getprepared.in.gov.

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