Indiana News

Ballard Urges Residents to Stay off Roads Sunday As Storm Looms

1/3/2014


(WIBC.com file photo)

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is asking residents to stay off the roads Sunday, to make way for snowplows as the city braces for a major winter storm.

Forecasters expect six-to-12 inches of snow Sunday, followed by two days of bone-chilling cold that could drop as far as 22 below zero. Temperatures that low can cause frostbite in five minutes, and Department of Public Works director Lori Miser says it's also a problem for the plows. The subfreezing temperatures pack the snow more tightly and can also cause damage to the equipment.

Miser says all 90 of the city's plows will stay on duty around the clock through the weekend, and the city has placed the private contractors who clear neighborhood streets on standby.

The predicted snowfall is double what fell on the city Thursday, when roads were treacherous most of the morning. Mayor Ballard says there's nothing he'd second-guess about the storm response . He says crews followed the same plan they always do, but were hampered by the timing of the storm during rush hour. With this storm expected to strike on the weekend, he says plow crews should be able to keep main roads clear.

The city will open 17 community centers for several hours Monday and Tuesday for people who need shelter from the cold. Ballard is urging people to limit Sunday travel to emergencies.

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