A Look At Current Road Conditions

By Maureen Mespell
By Scott Sarvay

February 2, 2011 Updated Feb 2, 2011 at 7:19 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – If you're thinking about driving around town, you'll want to pay extra close attention to road conditions.

Road conditions appear to be manageable Wednesday afternoon.

Be advised that you should only travel if you really need to and if you do stick to main roads.

City and state crews have been working non-stop since the snow began to fall Monday night focusing on major roads and preparing for commuters.

While schools and most businesses were closed Wednesday some brave drives took to the streets.

Fort Wayne and Allen County was downgraded to a Level 2 – Snow Emergency but that still means that road conditions are still bad, especially on side streets.

Indiana State Police Sergeant Ron Galzviz says, “The evening hours will tell because we're expecting some blowing snow that means more drifting. So the secondary roads are problematic right now and probably will be over the next couple of days. So again, even though the Level 1 here in Allen County has been downgraded to a Level 2, we certainly recommend staying home if you don't have to go out.”

Roads are not expecting to get much worse over night but blowing snow will continue to be a factor.

But nothing like Tuesday night.

Indiana State Police advise motorists to drive only if absolutely necessary in severe weather and to take the following precautions:

-Allow extra time to get to your destination.

-Icy conditions create difficult driving conditions for all types of vehicles including emergency response vehicles, yellow state snow plows and other road treatment vehicles. Leave lots of extra space between you and any other vehicles.

-Clear all windows of ice and snow and remove snow from hood, roof and head lights and tail lights.

-Beware of bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt.

-Slow down to increase traction; don’t use cruise control on slick roads.

-Avoid abrupt stops and starts, slow down gradually and keep wheels turning to avoid losing traction.

-Use low beam headlights to decrease glare from ice.

If you must be on the road, bring the following items with you in your vehicle:

-At least two blankets or a sleeping bag

-Flashlight or battery-powered lantern and extra batteries

-Extra clothing, particularly boots, hats and mittens

-Bottled water or juice and nonperishable high-energy foods (granola bars, raisins, nuts, peanut butter or cheese crackers)

-First-aid kit and necessary medications

-A cell phone charger which can be adapted to vehicle use

-Candle, matches, heat sticks/packs, lighters, hand-warmers, etc. (Be sure to crack the window if you using a heat source inside the vehicle)

Should you become stranded:

-Do not leave your car, it is the best protection you have.

-Keep the overhead light on when the engine is running so you can be seen (remember to keep the windows cracked).

-Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see.

-Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. Remember, an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour.

-Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

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