GREENSBURG -- Decatur County remained under an “Orange” level travel advisory Tuesday as arctic temperatures continued to keep the Tree County in a deep freeze.
Decatur County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director Rob Duckworth said during a Tuesday conference call with local business heads that the county’s status was expected to remain essentially the same until the arrival of Wednesday’s expected warming temperatures.
“We’re hoping to make a change [in status level] with temperatures getting into the 30s tomorrow [Wednesday],” Duckworth said. “That can make our salt products begin to be effective.”
County and City highway crews have few tools to combat iced-over roadways in subzero temperatures. Warmer air should increase the effectiveness of road crews’ salt products, though the only real cure for the cold snap is the forthcoming temperature change.
In terms of road updates, things remained relatively unchanged Tuesday afternoon.
"Throughout the county, things have not improved greatly," Duckworth said. The EMA director added that the layer of slush that had helped drivers maintain at least a small amount of traction Monday had been pressed down and rendered more slick in the 24 hours that followed. Road crews planned to put sand down in order to give streets more traction Tuesday.
As the county continued to collectively shiver under a blanket of dangerously cold temperatures Monday night, the EMA opened its first warming station, which was located at Greensburg Elementary School.
Duckworth said no one came to the warming station and described the effort as “more of a public outreach” to let the community know such a service was available should it be needed.
“It was more for peace of mind so everyone knew we were prepared,” the EMA director said.
Weather-related power outages that have affected thousands in the Indianapolis area and other parts of the state have been seen only rarely in the Decatur County community thus far.
The conference call revealed that a small number of customers of Decatur County REMC experienced brief outages Monday night, with another single outage reported Tuesday morning. Those temporary outages were quickly repaired, a representative of the company said.
Some Duke Energy customers experienced flickering lights Monday, and a transformer issue on the northern edge of the county needed to be fixed as well. The company reported no power outages in Decatur County, though consumers in some other areas remained without electricity Tuesday afternoon.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana had again canceled both its first and second shifts by Tuesday afternoon. Information from the conference call indicated a large number of employees live in counties that remained under a “Red” or “Emergency Travel Only” advisory level Tuesday, complicating the travel situations of those Honda team members.
Additionally, the facility is experiencing parts and manpower issues due to the transportation problems caused by the extreme cold.
All Greensburg Community Schools, St. Mary’s Elementary, Good Shepherd Christian Academy and all Decatur County Community Schools remained closed Tuesday. Greensburg City Hall and the Decatur County Courthouse re-opened for regular business hours after closing all day Monday.
EMA members will continue to monitor the weather situation as warmer temperatures arrive later in the week. More precipitation is expected for the area, though whether that turns out to be rain, snow or ice depends on the temperature.
The National Weather Service, as of Daily News press time Tuesday, called for a high of 26 degrees Wednesday with a slight chance of snow. The expected high for Thursday was 35 degrees with a 30 percent chance of snow.
Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; email@example.com