By Paul Minnis Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — GREENSBURG – It started as a winter storm prediction of 2 to 3 inches of accumulated freezing rain and snow.
By the time Thursday afternoon rolled around, the forecast had been updated to a menacing prediction of 9 to 12 inches.
Decatur County residents will be able to tell with a quick look outside Friday morning whether the prediction came to pass. Regardless, city and county road crews were ready for the worst, while emergency officials were advising people to stay home or leave themselves extra time to get to work if the situation demands.
Residents can check road conditions by texting the word “decaturco” to 888777, said Rob Duckworth, director of the Decatur County Emergency Management Agency. He said that will connect people to the Nixle Alert System for ongoing road status updates. Or, they can find out the latest road information by calling 222-road.
Duckworth said people should not call city or county communication centers.
“All that does is tie up our phone dispatchers from answering calls,” he said. “We need to keep those phone lines open.”
School closings or delays are available by visiting www.greensburgdailynews.com and clicking the “Weather Closings” tab.
The Decatur County Highway Department had a hefty supply of salt for melting and sand to improve vehicles’ traction, Highway Superintendent Mark Mohr said. He said all of the department’s 24 workers were ready to canvas the county with 16 road plows started at 7 a.m. today, and perhaps a little earlier if warranted.
County crews planned to start with primary arterials like Base and Millhousen roads, then clear lighter traffic roads, Mohr said. Officials with the Greensburg City Street Department could not be reached to explain their own plan.
Another possibility is that some residents may lose power to their homes.
Blankets, flashlights, nonperishable food items and blankets are important in case the outage lasts for a while, Duckworth said. He said people with wood fireplaces should take advantage of them for heating. However, he said space heaters should be used with great caution or avoided entirely because of the risk for fire.
The Greensburg Daily News’ news gathering partners at WISH TV anticipate rain and light snow Friday in Decatur County with a high of 30 degrees. Their forecast calls for mostly clear skies and a high of 25 degree Saturday.
Contact: Paul Minnis - 812-663-3111 x7401; firstname.lastname@example.org