ANDERSON — Weather crews are preparing for the worst as the state prepares for the first major winter storm of the season. But the biggest danger could be if the area doesn't see snow.
Harry Maginity, public information officer for the Indiana Department of Transportation's Greenfield Subdistrict, said rain, freezing rain and sleet pose a much greater safety hazard than if the area sees snow. And, according to forecasts, Madison County could be at the edge of the icy conditions. The National Weather Service is predicting anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of snow by tomorrow morning, with heavy sleet and freezing rain during the afternoon turning to a wintry mix at night.
"From what I'm seeing, the storm is moving from the bottom of the state, up to the north, so Anderson could be an area that either gets freezing rain or snow," Maginity said. "If we got snow, it would be a blessing."
Anderson and much of Madison County is encompassed in the Greenfield subdistrict, including much of the heavily traveled Interstate 69 that runs through the county. In order to get ahead of the storm, 28 subdistrict salt and plow trucks set out at 3:30 p.m. in preparation. The trucks will work through the evening until midnight, then a new shift will bring out another 28 trucks to replace them. Parts of I-69 also falls in the Tipton subdistrict, which will have 25 trucks on each shift. Maginity said the trucks will concentrate on the heavily trafficked areas first.
"We're fully mobilized tonight," he said. "It could be a bad one."
INDOT isn't the only agency getting a head start. The City of Anderson Street Department deployed two trucks about 3 p.m. as a precaution, and plans to send out more trucks as it becomes necessary. The department has 18 snow and salt trucks and four more pickup trucks with plows. The city also has other trucks as part of an if-needed snow task force that can have plows added. That would add another 12 to 15 trucks.