Allen County issued this news release today:
The winter weather travel WATCH for all of Allen County issued earlier this morning by the Allen County Office of Homeland Security remains in effect.
A WATCH means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a WATCH, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations is recommended. Drivers should be aware that conditions are hazardous. Please drive slowly and have emergency supplies in vehicles, along with a cell phone.
According to the Homeland Security office, heavy, wet snow continues to fall throughout Allen County at a current rate of 1-2 inches per hour. The National Weather Service is predicting 6-8 inches of total snowfall by this afternoon.
Early slush and sleet is beginning to freeze on the road surfaces. Heavy snowfall rates combined with the additional weight of this snow is making it more difficult for crews to clear roadways. Motorists should stay off the roads if possible so that highway crews can proceed with the snow removal process.
There have been dozens of accidents and dozens of slide-offs. Although the morning commute is over, these slide-off and accidents are continuing, particularly along I-69 and I-469.
Homeland Security expects travel conditions to remain hazardous throughout the day. Additional snowfall and sustained winds with gusts up to 25 mph will result in some drifting. The heavy snow will take much-longer to clear.
The heavy, wet snow is also beginning to cause tree branches to break and fall. Some are taking down power lines, some are creating driving hazards. There are numerous reports of wires down and blown electrical transformers causing widespread power outages. Indiana Michigan Power reports over 7,000 customers in Allen County without electricity.