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Ice slickens city streets, roads throughout area

January 19, 2011

    Ice covered Decatur streets and Adams County roads — as well as those in several area counties — this morning, making travel extremely hazardous.
    A light mist was freezing on the roads, state police said at 7 a.m.,  causing major traffic problems in numerous areas. People were advised to use extreme caution.
    North Adams and Adams Central schools had called off classes by 7 a.m. South Adams was still operating on a two-hour delay at that time.
    Jeremy Gilbert, Decatur's street superintendent, had two words for the road conditions this morning after freezing rain overnight: "very slick."
    He urged people not to drive, if at all possible, and said the temperature should warm up by midday to improve conditions.
    To help open roads, Gilbert said, the street department began salting them at 3 a.m., but he noted that it was "very slow going" for the city trucks as well as for everyone else.
    Adams County Highway Superintendent Mark Mitchel said the public should "drive slowly" if they have to drive at all.
    He reported that 12 county salt trucks started their rounds at 7 a.m.
    Fort Wayne police had a stretch of northbound I-69 closed from the 102-111 mile markers early this morning.  The Indiana State Police were working a personal-injury crash at the 111-mile marker involving a semi tractor trailer. A Fort Wayne police car was hit while the officer was investigating a separate crash.
    Likewise, numerous spots along I-469 in both directions were closed by the Allen County Police Department because of numerous jackknifed semi tractor trailers, authorities said. People were being urged to avoid those areas altogether until further notice. 
    Authorities also urged the public not to call law enforcement dispatch centers for road and weather information as they were extremely busy.  People can obtain that information by calling (800) 261-ROAD (7623) or by going to www.TrafficWise.in.gov.
     Snow and then bitter cold are shaping up as the next weather problems.
    The National Weather Service said there is a 30 percent chance of snow in the Decatur area after 1 a.m. Thursday, then an 80 percent chance during the day, with one to two inches possible. A 40 percent chance of snow showers is listed for Thursday night.
    Highs were predicted to reach the mid-20s here today and Thursday, but only around 14 degrees on Friday — and with a west wind between 15 and 20 mph.. That night's low is forecast to drop to around 3 above.
    There's a 30 percent chance of snow Saturday, with a high near 17 and a low around 9. Sunday should be a little warmer, forecasters said.
 

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