Hamilton, Tipton counties under travel watch Sunday

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The Indiana Department of Homeland Security issued a travel watch for Hamilton and Tipton Counties Sunday night. Surrounding counties in Central Indiana were under a travel advisory.

A watch warns drivers of only essential driving and urges emergency action plans be implemented by businesses, schools and government agencies.

Hamilton County activated its emergency operation center Sunday afternoon. Representatives from law enforcement, fire, emergency responders, the Red Cross and Duke Energy met to discuss various emergency plans.

“The event could last through the night and into the morning, which means the power might go out in the middle of the night,” Tom Sivak said, executive director of Hamilton County Emergency Management. “What does that mean for the next 12 to 24 hours after that?”

The county is monitoring every front, from the radar to crews on the road, even a network of volunteers documenting when the rain turns to ice. Plans for an emergency shelter are in place if heavy snow were to cover ice and snap power lines.

“Going into the morning commute, we have no idea what’s going to happen,” Sivak said. “So with that it’s just using extreme caution.”

Sunday night drivers in Hamilton County mirrored the same message.

“It’s gonna freeze,” Hugh Hedeen said, who had to travel to Michigan. “It’s gonna freeze, especially as we get closer to Michigan.”

Drivers are already preparing for the Monday commute.

“I’m going to leave my house tomorrow at about 7:00 a.m.,” Damon Robinson said. “I have to be at work at 8:20, 8:30 a.m. Just take extra precautions.”

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