Wind causes problems for plow drivers

Wind causes snow to drift in Benton and Tippecanoe County.
Wind causes snow to drift in Benton and Tippecanoe County.

BENTON CO., Ind. (WLFI) – High winds are making for dangerous road conditions Saturday night, and the possibility of more snow could affect travel Sunday morning as well.

Friday night’s snowfall didn’t cause immediate problems for the area, but strong winds have kept crews busy.

“Some of the roads in the county may be impassable. You may drive a mile and it’s completely clear and you may come along to a tree line where you might encounter the snow being a foot, two feet or three feet deep,” said Benton County EMA director John Fields.

News 18 Meteorologist Amber Hardwick said the area has experienced wind gusts up to 45 mph and even though the gusts won’t be as strong tonight, they can still create dangerous road conditions.

“That’s enough to really pick up the snow, reduce visibility to white out conditions, especially in rural areas like Benton County and even some areas in Tippecanoe County,” said Hardwick.

Crews in Benton and Tippecanoe counties tried to keep the roads clear, but eventually gave up because of the high winds.

“They keep running the roads, but with the way the wind is blowing, it’s blowing it back in behind them and we’re having a hard time keeping everything completely open,” said Rusty Leach of the Tippecanoe County Highway Department.

Leach said the drifting seems to be one of the most dangerous threats, especially when people are driving too fast for conditions.

“There’s spots on the road that are completely bare and then the next thing you know you’ll run into four and five foot drifts. If they’re driving too fast it will catch them off guard,” said Leach.

Snow plows in Tippecanoe and Benton counties will be on the roads Sunday morning, but with more snow predicted to fall early in the morning, drivers are advised to only go out if necessary until crews can get to work again.

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