INDOT: Friday's weather not an all-hands on deck situation
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) did not feel Friday’s snowfall was an all-hands on deck situation.
Hazardous road conditions led to numerous car accidents, particularly north of Allen County.
INDOT spokesperson Hunter Petroviak said INDOT did not send out its entire fleet of trucks because it utilizes “multiple different forecasts to formulate a plan. So, based off of what is predicted and what is coming down is how we plan and respond accordingly.”
However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) forecast called for up to two inches of snow for Allen County, one to six inches across Noble and DeKalb Counties and four to eight inches across Steuben Counties.
Petroviak said INDOT felt Friday’s weather was mostly rain, and therefore, sent out 86 of its 140 trucks.
NOAA Meteorologist Amos Dodson said across Noble, Steuben, Allen and DeKalb counties, an inch to an inch and a half of rain fell Friday while two to four inches of snow fell.
Petroviak said INDOT trucks began rolling out as early as 3:30 Friday morning focusing on interstates and state highways primarily in the northern part of Northeastern Indiana. He said they hit Noble, Steuben and DeKalb counties by noon.
According to KPC News, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department responded to 60 traffic crashes, including two fatalities, in an eight-hour period Friday. One of those accidents included the death of Indiana State Police Trooper James Bailey who was assisting with backed up traffic from crashes when he was struck by a vehicle and killed on I-69 just south of Auburn.
In total, 86 of INDOT’s 140 trucks were on the roads by the end of the day Friday. Petroviak said initially, 22 trucks went out with activity “gradually increasing throughout the day.”
Indiana State Police reported car accidents in Northeast Indiana on Friday.