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Friday, May 6, 2016

Winter storm makes travel difficult in Clay County

Monday, January 6, 2014

A number of county roads are "impassable" and local residents should evaluate the need to travel before venturing out, Clay County officials said Monday morning.

Following a weekend winter storm, Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said over the past couple of days the sheriff's department has received a number of calls of vehicles stranded in the snow. He added the Clay County Highway Department has been working to rescue those people.

"We've been extremely busy," Heaton said. "If you don't have to travel, we strongly recommend you don't. If you do have to travel, make sure someone knows where you are and when you are expected to get there."

He added a number of county roads have become impassable due to snow drifts, some Heaton said have been up to 3-foot deep and probably deeper in some areas.

Heaton said a number of the service calls received were mainly slide-offs and people getting stuck in the snow, with only one medical emergency call Monday morning.

Travel warnings have been issued for a number of counties due to road conditions. According to an Indiana State Police press release, road conditions throughout central Indiana "remain hazardous".

Clay County was listed under a "watch local travel advisory" by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

"During a watch local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools government agencies and other organizations," according to the IDHS website.

In addition, the storm caused a number of outages across the state and Clay County. As of 10:30 a.m., Monday morning, the Duke Energy website had reported 181 outages across the county. The website stated among the hardest hit areas in the state were Terre Haute, Kokomo, Bloomington, Martinsville, Greencastle, Avon, Carmel and Lafayette.

Preliminary data from the National Weather Service in Indianapolis' website stated as of 7 a.m., Clay County received 6-8 inches of snow following the weekend storm.

While snowfall has tapered off, the National Weather Service in Indianapolis has issued a wind chill warning for various counties.

"The combination of very cold temperatures and strong winds will produce wind chills of 25 to 40 below at times from (Monday) through Tuesday," the service stated. "Considerable blowing and drifting snow will continue into the evening hours, especially in rural areas."

The service also issued a winter weather advisory which would remain into effect until midnight.

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