Weather updates: Snow ending; roads still hazardous; travel watch continues

5:48 p.m. Some Columbus residents found fun today

5:30 p.m. Snowfall ending
The heaviest snowfall has ended. Roads are slick, and authorities are still responding to accidents.

4:04 p.m. Snow ”heaviest we have seen all day long”
Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police has posted a weather update. He is reporting that the snow is “now the heaviest we have seen all day along I-65 in southeast Indiana.”

Most of the travel lanes are covered in snow. Visibility is also reduced. If you are traveling today, not a bad idea to find somewhere to stop and wait this weather out, Wheeles said.

Because of the nasty weather, The Republic is closing its office at 3 p.m. Please continue to send news tips and weather-related news and updates to: editorial@therepublic.com.

1:53 p.m. Road conditions deteriorating
Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police is reporting that law enforcement is responding to several crashes in Bartholomew County. Most traffic issues are happening in the Columbus area north to the Shelby County line.

He’s urging motorists to stay home, and if you have to drive then go slow.

Some area businesses are starting to close early for the day.

In Decatur County, residents are reporting some power outages. Ice is forming on power lines.

1:20 p.m. Columbus City Hall
City offices, services to close at 3 p.m. today. ColumBUS transit service will close at 4 p.m. Bus services will resume at 8 a.m. Saturday.

12:56 p.m. Ivy Tech to close
Due to inclement weather, Ivy Tech Columbus and its community sites in Greensburg, North Vernon and Seymour will close at 1 p.m. today.

12:42 p.m. Update on high school sports events

Basketball: Both the Bloomington South at Columbus East and Mooresville at Columbus North boys basketball games scheduled for tonight have been rescheduled for Monday. JV games will begin at 6 p.m., with the varsity to follow around 7:30 p.m.

Tonight’s Seymour at Jennings County boys basketball game has been rescheduled for Feb. 6, the Hauser at Lawrenceburg boys basketball game has been rescheduled for Feb. 13 and the South Decatur at North Decatur boys basketball game has been rescheduled for Feb. 24, all with 7:30 p.m. varsity starts. The Trinity Lutheran at Madison Shawe boys basketball game has been rescheduled for Feb. 16, with a 6:30 p.m. varsity start.

The Seymour at East boys basketball and Brown County at Trinity Lutheran girls basketball games scheduled for Saturday night, also have been postponed, with makeups date not yet determined.

Swimming: The Hoosier Hills Conference swimming meet, that was to be hosted by East on Saturday, has been moved to 6 p.m. Tuesday at East. The HHC wrestling meet, which was scheduled for Saturday at Madison, has been moved to Jan. 20 at Jeffersonville.

Wrestling: The start time of Saturday’s Conference Indiana wrestling meet at Perry Meridian has been pushed back from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

12:10 p.m. The snow has arrived in Columbus
A steady snowfall is blanketing the city.

Snow is starting to fall in Columbus, Ind., Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

12:08 p.m. Flights resume at airport
Columbus Municipal Airport is back in business. Weather conditions have improved so plane arrivals and departures have resumed.

10:35 a.m. North boys basketball game postponed
Mooresville at Columbus North boys basketball postponed to Monday. Same start times, 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity.

10:21 a.m. East boys basketball game off for tonight
The Columbus East vs. Bloomington South basketball game has been postponed. The game has been rescheduled for Monday at Columbus East. JV game starts at 6 p.m. , varsity at 7:30 p.m.

10:10 a.m. Lanes blocked on northbound Interstate 65
Indiana State Police have responded to an accident in Jackson County — near the 55 mile marker. No injuries reported.

Crash Interstate 65 Jackson County

9:45 a.m. State operation center opened
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security  has activated the state of Indiana Emergency Operations Center to further monitor incoming winter weather conditions across the state.

9:15 a.m. No arrivals and departures at airport because of ice
The Columbus Municipal Airport is halting arrivals and departures until conditions improve.  The last departure was at 7:30 a.m. today.

9:10 a.m. City salt trucks treating streets
The city of Columbus has had 19 salt trucks out working since 6 a.m.
They will probably stay out through tonight, as the snow is expected to continue through tonight, and then return in the wee hours of Saturday morning, said Richard Macy, Columbus Street Department supervisor.

“We’re hoping the snow comes in soon because that’s easier to take care of than this ice,” he said.

City trucks are focusing on main thoroughfares,  25th, Central, Washington, Franklin, 17th (for the hospital) Marr, Beam and Rocky Ford Roads, he said. However, he warned that although the roads appear to be just wet, there is some refreezing occurring and slick spots so motorists should use extreme caution and only travel if absolutely necessary.

A few of the city trucks are starting on secondary streets as of 9 a.m., but that’s only beginning so those roads as of 9 a.m. are not treated — but they are starting.

Columbus City buses are running, and may be behind schedule because of road conditions, but the buses are running.

9:13 a.m. County road crews battling the ice; no roads closed
Bartholomew County Highway Department crews have been applying a mixture of salt and sand to county roads since this morning to remove ice, said Danny Hollander, county engineer.

A few crews started at 6 a.m., the rest at their normal start time of 7, he said.

“They’re slick,” Hollander said of the roads. “We’re just trying to get the ice up before it snows.”

He urged drivers to use caution and be careful, but added that no roads are closed at this time. The fact that county government offices and the schools are closed has been helpful in limiting traffic on the roads, Hollander added.

Road crews didn’t apply the salt/sand mixture last night because the rain would have washed it away, Hollander said.

He said crews will drive county roads throughout the day applying salt and sand, and then removing slush from the roads after the ice melts. If conditions are expected to be bad tonight, drivers might take a break in the late afternoon to get rest before resuming work in the evening, Hollander added.

9:12 a.m. No power outages
There are no power outages reported by Duke or Bartholomew County REMC at this time.

9:05 a.m. Snow coming soon
Shannon Hinton, emergency management director for  Bartholomew County, said they are expecting snow to begin soon and continue through 5 p.m. Expect about 2 to 4 inches.

8:55 a.m. Morning accidents
Police agencies have responded to about a dozen accidents in Bartholomew County this morning, including some on Interstate 65 and slideoff at Lowell Road and U.S. 31. That’s since about 6 a.m.

8:45 a.m. Closings
All schools in Bartholomew County; Bartholomew County government; Bartholomew County Public Library — all locations; Columbus Family Medicine; Columbus Internal Medicine Associates; winter farmer’s market for Saturday; Southern Indiana Heart and Vascular will be closing at noon today; Columbus Gymnastics Center (no 5:15 p.m. class and no 6 p.m. sensory open gym); Doctors Park Family Medicine; Neurology and Sleep Sciences; Gleaners mobile food pantries in Columbus.

County under a travel watch.
Bartholomew County is now under a travel watch.

During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.

The Bartholomew County Emergency Management agency is asking people to travel only if necessary today and use caution while allowing plenty of time. Highway crews are out working but roads are slick, according to the agency.

A watch means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public.

The Columbus Police Department is reporting that roads are wet and slick in spots in Columbus and advises this: If you heading to work, please drive carefully. Please allow extra time to arrive at your destination if you must get out.

The precipitation is expected to change over to snow in the next couple of hours, the police department reports.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., Flat Rock-Hawcreek and other area schools districts have canceled classes today.

Bartholomew County government offices are closed today.

Check out all cancellations and delays here: Link.
Follow updates from National Weather Service: Link.

 WISH-TV is reporting that temperatures will continue to drop throughout the morning with rain transitioning to freezing rain and sleet. Roads will become very slick and icy especially untreated.

 Expect to see a glaze with upwards of a quarter of an inch of ice accumulation on surfaces. Wintry mix will continue for the rest of the morning. Late morning early afternoon freezing rain and sleet makes the transition to all snow showers for the rest of the day.

Send us your reports on road conditions and how your commute went. We will get the word out to others. Click here.