Governor Mike Pence signed orders Monday afternoon declaring a state of emergency in 29 Indiana counties — a list that he says may grow after record snowfalls and record-low temperatures descended on Indiana last night.
The list of counties includes: Clinton, Delaware, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Howard, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Marshall, Montgomery, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, Rush, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, White and Whitley.
Travel advisories were in place in most counties statewide this morning to keep Hoosiers off the road and let emergency responders do their work.
Indiana Department of Transportation commissioner Karl Browning says there’s a bumpy snowpack on the roads right now and that will linger through at least Wednesday.
“The salt material that we use on the highways needs about 20 degrees surface temperature- we’re running in single digits for most of the surface temperatures,” says Browning. “The likelihood is we will continue to have to snowpack which is drivable, but still dangerous.
In a press conference this afternoon with Browning, representatives from the state’s departments of Homeland Security, the Indiana State Police and the National Guard, Pence praised the work of first responders and disaster relief teams throughout the state.
“Our message today to Hoosier is that we ask for your patience,” Pence said. “We are grateful to have had the cooperation of the public over the first 36 hours of this event and we will continue to rely on the common sense and judgement of the people of Indiana.”
As the week progresses Pence said the state will continue to clear state roads and interstates, as well as restore power, gas and electricity to those who lost those services.
“We are not there yet,” Pence said. “We have demonstrated that our state can take a punch, we’re still standing tall but people need to understand this is a very dangerous storm.”
This story has been updated. Originally Pence issued disaster declarations in 27 counties.