Tri-State road crews getting ready to face the storm - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Tri-State road crews getting ready to face the storm

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As the blizzard continues to make its way toward the Tri-State, road crews are getting ready to meet the storm head on. 

"We're communicating with each other. Trying to get everybody to see what all the departments with in the city and county, and even the state, are doing right now for anticipation of the storm," Sherman Greer said. 

Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Director Sherman Greer says until the storm gets here, there's no way of predicting how bad it will be, but they're on top of it.

"We don't know if there's gonna be downed electrical lines. With heavy snow like they're predicting, anywhere form 8-10 inches, that's possible," Greer said.

In case of any power outages, Vectren officials say they will have crews in house, ready to go out at moments notice. 
Road crews are on standby as well. Although with the storm hitting on Christmas, it's been a little tricky to organize. 

"Some employees may be out of town so it may be just a little of a challenge getting all the crews together at once. Usually they know and they're prepared," Mike Duckworth said. 

Although you may have noticed some city roads have been pre-treated, county highway superintendent Mike Duckworth says county roads have not. 

"Because the event is supposed to begin as rain. Rain dilutes the chemicals and when chemicals get diluted there's more of a chance for them to freeze over and cause conditions to be worse," Duckworth said.

The county has 13 snow plows available, and as the snow starts accumulating, crews will head out. 

INDOT officials say they started preparing for this on Friday. They made sure their trucks were fueled and ready to roll out when the storm hits. They already have drivers out starting at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night, or earlier, if necessary.

In Kentucky, transportation crews have been preparing since Friday. The trucks were filled with salt and mounted with snow plows.  

The Transportation Cabinet actually has a Snow Duty Team that keeps an eye on the extended forecast, which allows officials to identify issues with storms.  

According to officials, the particular problem with this storm will likely be the high winds.  

"That is going to severely limit our ability to improve roadways, probably running from about midnight tonight through about noon on Wednesday," Keith Todd, with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said.  

Even after a plow clears a roadway, Todd explains that people might not even think it's been treated because of the high winds.  

He notes that this storm is being compared to the one that hit during Christmas week in 2004 and emphasizes how important it is for people to stay off of the roads. 

"Try to avoid travel from say 9:00 or 10:00 Tuesday night through about noon on Wednesday, simply because the conditions are going to be so brutal."  

Todd believes that the fairly calm weather much of us experienced Tuesday might cause people to forget what's coming and venture onto the roads.

"I think people get lulled into a sense of overconfidence of 'Oh, well, it's not too bad right now, so how bad can it be later tonight?'" 

But it could, in fact, get much worse later Tuesday night.  
Todd encourages people to use these last few hours to brace for the worst.  

"If you do go out, you  need to be prepared like you're going to the North Pole. You need to be wrapped up. You need to have plenty of clothes. You know, if you underestimate this storm, you could get into trouble very, very quickly," Todd said.  

As always, be sure to stay with us on air and on for the latest updates on the storm and how it's affecting your area. 

To get the latest road conditions in your area, here are the numbers to call.
Indiana- 1-800-261-7623
Kentucky- 1-866-737-3767
Illinois- 1-800-452-4368

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