Local EOC opens early

    How bad is it going to get?
    On Monday, the day before a vast winter storm bore down, the head of emergency management in Adams County, John August, told the county commissioners that the county's emergency operations center (EOC) would be opened today at 8 a.m. Tuesday to prepare for perhaps two days of work to deal with the weather.
    The EOC is located in the basement of the county jail and will be staffed at all times for as long as required, according to August.
    He said on Monday afternoon that the latest predictions for this area call for 12 inches of snow and winds up to 35 mph. He said areas south of here will get a lot of ice, with maybe one inch to 1.5 inches in central Indiana.
    "Right now, it doesn't look good," said August, although he added that the problems here will be of a lesser type than others in the nation will experience.
    Among the tasks of the EOC is gathering information so August, Sheriff Shane Rekeweg, and Highway Superintendent Mark Mitchel can determine what color-coded condition should be in effect. There are four such conditions: green, yellow, red, and black. The first three are decided by the above officials, but Code Black can be ordered only by the three commissioners and the mayors of Decatur and Berne.
    The county also recently established a plan to have county highway snowplows available for use by fire trucks and ambulances at times of heavier-than-usual snow and wind.