FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Road conditions rapidly deteriorated across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio in the wake of Wednesday morning’s heavy snowfall.
Nineteen crashes with no injuries, three with injuries and 25 slide-offs were reported to the Fort Wayne Police Department between the hours of 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
As of 2:15 p.m., there were 32 property damage crashes, four with injuries and 42 slide-offs in Fort Wayne. Officers actually stopped responding to property damage only crashes between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. because there were so many calls coming in.
Officers did respond if there were injuries, if it was a hit skip or the vehicle needed to be towed. Drivers were asked to exchange information and contact their insurance companies if there was just damage done.
The Allen County Sheriff’s Department responded to nine crashes and 36 slide-offs or disabled vehicles from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. the total was 12 crashes and 53 slide-offs in the county.
Numerous slide-offs along I-69 and I-469 were among those reported.
City plows were busy all day trying to keep the main roads clear. Once the snow stopped, the trucks put salt down on the main arteries. The sun in the afternoon helped, city officials said, and as of 4 p.m., some plows were already on neighborhood streets. The hope is to have all plows working on residential streets by 5 p.m. and be finished Thursday afternoon.
The heavy, wet snow also reduced visibility to less than a quarter-mile in some areas, as it came down at rates as high as two inches an hour. Strong winds were also causing blowing snow and near whiteout conditions in rural counties. That made plowing difficult in the morning.
Blowing snow also blanketed traffic lights. The city is trying to clear them off as quickly as possible, but if motorists come to an intersection and can’t see the lights because of snow, treat it like a four-way stop.
The Allen County Office of Homeland Security issued a Travel Watch, indicating conditions are threatening the safety of the public. The watch was upgraded to an advisory at 5 p.m. An advisory means that routine travel may be restricted in some areas and drivers are asked to use caution when on the roads.