INDOT prepares for upcoming winter storm

NOW: INDOT prepares for upcoming winter storm

SAINT JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. --- Michiana is expecting heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures going into the holiday weekend, which make for dangerous road conditions.

A spokesperson from the Indiana Department of Transportation tells ABC57 that their plans for the storm won’t be officially decided until a day or two before it’s predicted to start, but they’re keeping their eyes on the radar and already getting a good idea of what they’ll need to do to tackle the treacherous roads.

“We’re watching the forecast, we are making sure equipment is ready to go, making sure our personnel are on standby,” says Cassy Bajek, the Public Relations Director for INDOT Northwest.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is working to stay one step ahead of the incoming winter storm and keep the streets as safe as possible.

“If it’s going to end up being as impactful as it looks like it’s going to be, it’ll definitely be an all-hands-on deck kind of situation,” Bajek predicts.

That means staffing up and making sure snowplow drivers are working around the clock to clear the snow as it falls.

“More than likely, we’ll be under full call-out,” says Bajek. “We’ll probably have every available plow and driver out on the roadways, and then in the midst of a winter event, our drivers work rotating 12-hour shifts, so we have the roadways covered 24/7.”

Keeping roads treated will be an even tougher task, as some materials don’t work as well in the bitter cold.

“Rock salts, or just typical salt that you’d see being put out on the roadways, is actually 80% less effective once it hits 20 degrees, then under 20 degrees it gets less and less effective,” warns Bajek. “We do have chemicals that we can add to kind of help it stay effective under that temperature threshold, but it’s really a battle at that point to try to have materials that are going to be effective.”

If you plan to hit the road for the holidays, try to find a snowplow to follow! INDOT says that’s the safest place to be when road conditions are hazardous, as long as you keep your distance. If you are one of those that may need to hit the road before the weekend, you can see what the roads will look like beforehand by checking out; that's where you’ll find real-time road conditions and photos from the snow plows themselves.

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