Power companies, police and drivers gear up for rough weather Wednesday
GRANGER, Ind. - With wind gusts expected to be 50 to 55 miles per hour throughout Michiana tomorrow, and the predicted rain, drivers will have to take precautions on arguably one of the busiest travel days all year.
“That’s actually really concerning,” Olivia Cascone, one driver said.
“I see a giant storm coming, so I expect this will be a problem for a lot of people,” Agustin Fuentes, another driver said.
That’s why Fuentes decided to leave today.
“I’m driving to Cleveland today this afternoon to avoid the storm coming in and spend some time there.”
Sergeant Ted Bohner with Indiana State Police said Thanksgiving travel is already busy, now adding the rough weather conditions is concerning.
“Last year during the 4-day Thanksgiving holiday period there were over 2,500 crashes in Indiana, 12 of those being fatalities. So that’s 12 people that aren’t going to be around for this thanksgiving holiday and that’s just sad when you think about this as a time family’s get together.” “we’re out there trying to get out that we don’t want another year like that,” Bohner said.
This year, he wants drivers to be even more cautious.
“We’re asking people to drive smart, drive safe, be courteous drivers,” he said.
He said it’s important to make sure your vehicle is road-ready, tires pumped and gassed up.
When it comes to driving, make sure your seatbelt is on and that you are not tired or distracted.
“Making sure I’m all gassed up, and my oil checked and all my fluids in my car," Cascone said. “Hopefully it doesn’t get too awful but kind of just monitoring the weather and making sure I have all the necessary things in my car,” Cascone said.
This rain-wind mix is also a recipe for power outages.
“With a storm like this, with high winds predicted, it’s going to be a vegetation event. In other words, we are going to need, not just line workers to respond but tree trimmers. They often have to go in first before the line workers to clean away debris,” Angeline Protogere a spokesperson for Duke Energy Indiana said.
She said trees are the #1 cause of outages, but she said they are prepared.
“We have a meteorology team whom we work closely with who help us with planning and where the most severe weather may hit,” Protogere said.
She said they also have contractors who they can call on if necessary.
Now, not everyone drives to see family on Thanksgiving. As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, there are no delays out of the South Bend Airport according to flight schedules.