Several counties lifting travel advisories


It's still frigid outside, and roads are icy, but travel warnings have been lifted across northern Indiana and southwest Michigan.

The snow emergency status for St. Joseph County and South Bendwas lifted at noon Tuesday. Officials are still asking citizens to stay off the roads if possible.

Elkhart County is now allowing travel but with caution.

Motorists are cautioned that roadways are still covered in snow and ice and drifting on north and south routes may occur. Those intending on traveling should use caution, leave early, drive slow, and be prepared for areas that are limited to one lane.

Berrien County offices were closed Tuesday.Both Berrien and Cass Counties were asking people not to be out on the roads.

St. Joseph County in Michigan has now lifted its warning,although officials there are still urging motorists to only travel if possible and stay on main roads when possible.

LaGrange County has downgraded its emergency to a Travel Watch.

"Watch means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a 'watch' local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations is recommended" a release from the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department said.

The Travel Advisory Warning for Marshall Countywas at noon on Tuesday. Roads are still snow covered, slick and hazardous so the Commissioners would like to remind everyone to follow good safety practices when driving.

The town ofCulveralso declared a Snow Emergency Sunday effective immediately until further notice. Any vehicles parked in a snow route must be removed to allow for clearing of the route.

LaPorte Countyhas lifted the State of Emergency as of noon Tuesday. The County has now issued a travel WATCH. A "watch" means conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. Only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended.

Starke Countyremains under a travel advisory.

The Cass County (Michigan) Declaration of a Local State of Emergency has been lifted. While the State of Emergency has been canceled, people should still take extreme caution when traveling roadways and be aware of extreme cold conditions.

CLICK HERE for 24-hour snowfall totals from the National Weather Service in North Webster.

At 9 a.m. EDT. Monday Indiana State Police issued the following update:

Motorists should evaluate the need to travel anywhere in the state over the next couple of days as temperatures have fallen below zero. Add wind to the extremely frigid temperatures and wind chills are forecast to reach anywhere from 30 to 40 below zero at times with blowing snow and blizzard like conditions.

As of 8:00 a.m. this morning, although the snowfall has tapered off to mostly flurries across the state, most of Indiana is snow covered with the heaviest accumulations in northern Indiana. The following is a list of roads currently closed:

I-80/94 east and westbound from U.S. 421 (34 mile marker) to the Illinois State Line (0 mile marker) I-65 north and southbound from State Road 26 (172 mile marker) to U.S. 30 (253 mile marker); and US 35/SR 22 in Howard County is closed from US 31 E to SR 13 in Grant County

Road conditions in central Indiana remain hazardous as INDOT crews have been out around the clock statewide working to keep roads passable.

Road conditions are only slightly better throughout southern Indiana where snow accumulations were less than in the central and northern parts of the state. However, there are still many areas where snow and ice conditions make for very hazardous travel.

The Indiana State Police advise travel in counties under a red travel advisory should only be for emergency purposes. To see the current travel status in your county, click here: Travel in these counties is extremely hazardous and should be avoided unless there is a LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY that requires the need to travel.

If it becomes necessary to travel, make sure you are prepared by following these tips:

Tell someone where you are going, your route of travel, and your expected arrival time. Also tell that person your vehicle color, year, make, and license plate number. Allow plenty of extra time to travel Make sure your car is full of fuel and refuel when your gauge indicates a half tank Pack an emergency kit in the trunk consisting of:o Extra blankets/coats/hats/gloveso Working flashlight and extra batterieso Some bottled watero High energy, non perishable snacks such as nuts, granola bars, etc.o A candle and some matcheso Emergency flares

Have fully charged cell phone or bring along a phone charger for the car Keep some sand or "kitty litter" in your trunk help provide some traction should your car get stuck Carry a shovel

If you become stranded along the roadway, remain with your car unless you can see a house or business that is only a short distance away. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR TO "LOOK" FOR HELP. Tie a brightly colored flag or other material on the antenna. Run your car's engine for 15-20 minutes per hour just to keep warm and make sure the exhaust pipe stays clear of snow or other obstructions. An idling engine generally will only burn about one gallon of fuel per hour. While your car is running, turn on all lights and honk your horn to attract attention. Make sure to shut off all lights and other electrical components and avoid honking your horn while the engine is off to conserve battery power. CALL 911.

Please avoid calling state, county, and local law enforcement dispatch centers for road and weather updates. Instead, tune into your local radio station, favorite TV news channel, or call the statewide road and weather line at 800-261-7623. This Indiana State Police link will take you to an overview page that includes these useful links:

Situational Awareness for Current Winter Storm TrafficWise INDOT Road and Weather Sensors National Weather Service IDHS County Travel Status Map