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City may dodge worst of approaching storm

There is no reason to stock up on bread, milk and eggs.

You should, however, look at your calendar and notice it is December, then remind yourself you live in the Midwest.

Yes, a winter storm is coming, but most of northeast Indiana won’t really notice except for falling temperatures and some light snow. No, that won’t stop the television stations from doing live shots in front of idling snowplows.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for central and southern Indiana, where a system that wreaked havoc in Texas and Oklahoma is expected to bring freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow. By midnight tonight, Indianapolis could have 4 to 7 inches of snow and sleet.

“Only travel in an emergency,” forecasters warned central Indiana drivers. “If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”

Indiana Department of Transportation officials joined in cautioning those in central and southern parts of the state: “Ice will probably be the greatest threat to safety for the motoring public in this region.”

But that is central and southern Indiana. For northeast Indiana, not so much.

Draw a line from around Marion to Van Wert, Ohio. South of that line, the National Weather Service is predicting some snow accumulations. Just north of that line in Adams and Wells counties, where the weather service issued a winter weather advisory, accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are possible.

The forecast for the Fort Wayne area is for a 70 percent chance of snow today, with up to an inch accumulation, and a 20 percent chance tonight. No snow is expected after that until Sunday night.

Still, a forecast is just a forecast – winds can shift, conditions change and suddenly you’re trapped in your house by a foot of snow with no milk for the kids. So INDOT is preparing, just in case.

In northeast Indiana, INDOT is pre-treating Interstate 69 with brine on bridges, underpasses and ramps, which tend to ice up more quickly than the rest of the road. If ice and snow shows up here, crews are prepared to combat icy surfaces on state and interstate highways with treated salt to accelerate melting, INDOT officials said.

Because the front edge of the storm is rain, INDOT plans to treat the roads just before pavement temperatures drop and wintry mix begins to accumulate.

Drivers can monitor road conditions and traffic alerts across the state at www.trafficwise.in.gov, by calling 800-261-ROAD, at facebook.com/INDOTNortheast and on Twitter @INDOTNortheast.

dstockman@jg.net

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