GREENSBURG — At around 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, the Decatur County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) formally set the county’s winter-weather travel advisory level to Orange – essential travel only.
As of this writing Wednesday evening, that’s where the level remains.
Despite more than 24 hours of “essential travel only,” however, according to EMA director Rob Duckworth, there have been only four vehicle crashes and slide-offs involving property damage in that same timeframe.
Greensburg Chief of Police Stacey Chasteen reported an even a lower number of weather-related vehicle incidents – one slide off since the Orange alert was declared, with no injuries involved.
For Duckworth, the low level of winter-related vehicular incidents suggests the EMA’s message to residents is being heard – and adhered to – loud and clear.
The director added that the advisory level will likely be dropped fairly soon.
“As of 1 p.m. [Wednesday],” he explained, “road crews have been through all the primary and secondary roads and are getting started on the tertiary routes.”
With this latest round of wintery weather, Duckworth has so far been favorably impressed with the numbers of vehicles he’s seen and encountered on local roads.
Chasteen echoed that assessment. “I think people who ARE on the roads are being extra cautious. But overall, there doesn’t seem to be much traffic. School’s out and local activities have been postponed or cancelled, so there just aren’t that many vehicles, which makes it much easier for us [Greensburg Police] and for road crews.”
Duckworth hopes residents will continue limiting their travel until conditions clear. Although no additional significant snowfall is forecast again for the area until Saturday – roughly one inch – Duckworth reminded drivers to keep in mind that extreme cold is forecast for the next several days. “The snow isn’t going anywhere for a while,” he said. “Just because it doesn’t snow, doesn’t mean roads have improved.”