Indiana weather: Road conditions improving, but still treacherous
January 27, 2014 (SOUTH BEND, Ind.) -- Dozens of school districts across northern and central Indiana have called off classes as high winds are causing snow drifts and plunging wind chills.
Several counties across northern Indiana have issued travel warnings, saying many roads are impassable from drifting snow. However, road conditions have improved across many parts of northwest Indiana since Sunday night.
"It actually wasn't too bad coming this way so I'm pretty surprised," said Jason Perz, motorist.
"If they don't have to drive, don't drive," said Siid Chillil, motorist.
These are two completely different viewpoints from drivers heading south bound on I-65 today near Demotte. The difference? Where they were coming from. Indiana roads, which have in recent days been so bad as to cause that devastating 40-car pileup that killed three people near Michigan City on Thursday are now in fact greatly improved just from last night.
"The whiteout conditions on 65 were so bad the two trucks would not come out because of safety," said Sgt. Ann Wojas, Indiana State Police. "We took a four-wheel drive went out with two straps and pulled people out."
The National Weather Service has put most of the state under wind chill warning until noon Wednesday. Temperatures reached near zero Monday morning, with wind gusts of up to 30 mph and wind chills falling to 20 below zero.
"You get up around where the open fields blow across and there are places you just got to be careful, because people come through here and they think we can go 65/70 miles an hour and they hit a slick spot and next thing you know you're out on the median," said Mike Lowry, delivery driver.
But while Illinois State Police reports no significant weather-related accidents since last night, INDOT continues to have its full fleet of plows out, especially in open, rural areas where blowing and drifting snow is still a problem.
"There was a lot of blowing snow about five miles up the road, but other than that it's all right," said Roy Jackson, truck driver. Most rural school districts in northern and central Indiana canceled classes Monday, although the South Bend and Fort Wayne districts also closed their schools. Many other districts delayed the start of classes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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