Another winter storm expected to slam into Adams County this evening

By: 
JANNAYA ANDREWS
Editor

    Another Winter Storm raced into the Hoosier state early Monday, after barreling across the southern Plains over the weekend, dropping snow, ice and — of course — temperatures before moving on.
    As of Monday morning, all of northeast Indiana and northeast Ohio were under a Winter Storm Warning issued by The National Weather Service, with 8-12 inches of snow expected by Tuesday morning, with the heaviest snow predicted for areas south of Fort Wayne, including Adams County.
    Snow flurries and showers moved into the area overnight Sunday, leaving roads slippery with the fresh coating of snow, with heavy snow expected to move in this afternoon and evening, tapering off early Tuesday morning.
    The snow may come down so quickly and heavily that untreated roads will quickly become impassable, especially before local, county and state road crews are able to plow. However, once the snow stops, blowing and drifting snow continue to be a threat to motorists — especially at night, when visibility is already compromised — and on rural roads and city side-streets, which may be impassable for a day or two following the storm as plow crews work to keep main roads open.
    Snow will be back in the forecast after a brief reprieve, with forecasters expecting another dusting Wednesday evening (less than an inch is expected), and another 1-3 inches predicted for Thursday.

ACROSS THE US
    Nearly 2.6 million customers in Texas were in the dark as of Monday morning as rotating power outages continued in an effort to prevent a catastrophic power failure.
    Around 5,000 Oklahoma Gas & Electric customers were without power overnight, and Entergy Arkansas logged about 3,000 outages. Both states have much smaller populations compared with Texas.
    By midmorning, 3,000 flights had been canceled across the country, about 1,600 of them at Dallas/Fort Worth International and Bush Intercontinental airports in Texas. At DFW, the temperature was 4 degrees — 3 degrees colder than Moscow.
    Accumulating ice between a tenth and a quarter of an inch was possible across eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, central Tennessee, Kentucky and over into the West Virginia and Ohio border region, Oravec said.
    Up to 12 inches of snow was expected across parts of the southern Plains into Monday, said Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center.
    In Louisiana, police closed multiple bridges and parts of some interstates because of icy conditions around Baton Rouge. Notably, Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette was closed in both directions Monday morning because of ice accumulation that caused multiple crashes
    In Memphis, Tennessee, snow started falling Sunday afternoon, and in Mississippi, sleet in Jackson and other central parts of the state left roads and bridges slick.
    Parts of Kentucky and West Virginia still recovering from an ice storm last week were expected to get up to a quarter-inch (0.6 centimeters) of ice or up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow by Tuesday.

KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING
    A Winter Storm Watch is issued by the National Weather Service when there is a potential for heavy snow or significant ice accumulations, usually at least 24-36 hours in advance. The criteria for this watch can vary from place to place.
    A Winter Storm Warning is a winter storm producing or forecast to produce heavy snow or significant ice accumulations. The criteria for this warning may also vary.
    A Blizzard Warning is issued for winter storms with sustained or frequent winds of 35 mph or higher, with considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to 1/4 of a mile or less. These conditions are expected to prevail for a minimum of 3 hours.

KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING
Winter storms home preparedness checklist
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways;
    • Sand to improve traction;
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment;
    • Sufficient heating fuel, such as dry, seasoned wood for a fireplace or wood-burning stove;
    • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep warm, especially in the event of power outages, which may happen frequently during winter storms;
    • Make a family emergency plan — Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how to contact one another, how you will get back together and what to do in case of an emergency;
    • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the NWS and be alert to changing weather conditions;
    • Minimize travel, but keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle;
    • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather;
    • Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

DURING THE WINTER STORM
    • Stay indoors during the storm;
    • Walk carefully on snow covered or icy walkways;
    • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow; overexertion can bring on a heart attack — a major cause of death during winter months;
    • If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside;
    • Keep dry and change wet clothing frequently to prevent the loss of body heat (wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly);
    • Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately;
    • Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible;
    • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day, don't travel alone, keep others informed of your schedule, stay on main roads and avoid backroad shortcuts;
    • Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route;
    • If water pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate);
    • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes;
    • Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects;
    • Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms;
    • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees.

A SILENT KILLER
Carbon monoxide safety
    • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors;
    • The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire;
    • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide;
    • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door;
    • Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

DRIVING SAFETY
    • Before beginning your trip, check the current road conditions and weather forecast. For statewide highway information 24 hours a day, check the Indiana Department of Transportation website at www.in.gov/indot;
    • Keep vehicle windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice;
    • Wear a seatbelt;
    • Allow plenty of travel time;
    • Be aware of sleet and freezing rain;
    • Be aware of potentially icy areas;
    • Brake early and slowly and avoid slamming on the brakes;
    • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road;
    • When driving on ice and snow, do not use cruise control and avoid abrupt steering maneuvers;
    • When merging into traffic, take it slow — sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide;
    • Don't pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary — treat these as you would emergency response vehicles;
    • Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car;
    • Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season. This is good for emergency preparedness and it keeps the fuel line from freezing.

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