Highway Dept. ready, but waits for worst
By Chelsea Schneider Kirk firstname.lastname@example.org February 1, 2011 1:26PM
A snow plow drives down Commercial Avenue, in downtown Lowell on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011. A snow storm hit the area on Tuesday and is expected to last through Wednesday, dropping nearly 18 inches of snow. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media
Designated sites for warming centers during the winter storm.
Heritage Hall, 4506 Tod Ave. In event of emergency call: 219-391-8268
Brunswick Pavilion, 775 Clark Road, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. M-F
Hudson-Campbell Fitness Center, 455 Massachusetts St., 7 a.m.-9 p.m. M-F 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat.
Calumet Township Multi-Purpose Center, 1900 W. 41st Ave., 24-hours daily as needed
Public Safety Facility, 555 Polk St., As needed
Roosevelt Pavilion, 21st and Harrison Street, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. M-F
Town Hall, 7820 Broadway. Use the phone inside the vestibule to call police dispatch, and they’ll let you inside.
Updated: November 24, 2011 3:34AM
The Lake County Highway Department is preparing a fleet of snow plows to combat the winter storm, but the county’s highway director says it is too early to predict road conditions for Wednesday morning.
“If predictions come true, it’s going to be the majority of these roads especially in the rural areas are going to be closed,” Lake County Highway Department Director Marc Malczewski said. “My advice is unless you absolutely have to go out, don’t go out. The problem is people get on the roads and think they can get through then they’ll get stuck and our job takes twice as long.”
Forecasters expected snow to move into Northwest Indiana by 3 p.m. Tuesday, and for snow totals to range from 12 to 20 inches. Conditions were expected to deteriorate Tuesday with travel treacherous in the late afternoon and becoming dangerous in the early evening. Snow is expected to fall until Wednesday afternoon.
The Highway Department will have up to 38 trucks on the road, and Malczewski expects conditions to worsen between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday.
“Sight and visibility will be a big problem if the winds blow that hard and we’re getting that much snow,” Malczewski said. “If there’s no visibility that’s when we take the trucks off the road.”
Gary plans to have between 30 to 40 trucks clearing city roads and will concentrate on the main thoroughfares first, City of Gary spokeswoman LaLosa Burns said.
The Merrillville Public Works Department will keep all workers on until about 8 or 9 p.m. Tuesday and then begin splitting into shifts. The department also is lining up additional equipment for streets south of U.S. 30 that are usually impacted by snow drifts.
“We’ll just take it from there and see what happens,” Merrillville Public Works Director Bruce Spires said. “Hopefully everyone stays off the roads for a day or so. It sounds like it’s going to be a real mess.”
Contact Chelsea Schneider Kirk at 648-3072.