News and Tribune

January 3, 2014

Winter storm expected Sunday with bitter cold to follow

5 to 8 inches of snow in the forecast; high of zero Monday

By SHEA VAN HOY
shea.vanhoy@newsandtribune.com

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — A winter storm watch has been issued for Clark, Floyd and surrounding counties from Sunday morning through Sunday evening.

Parts of Southern Indiana could get 5 to 8 inches of snow by Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service’s Louisville office. The snow will be followed by sub-zero temperatures Sunday and Monday nights.

Snowfall will begin before daybreak Sunday with heavier show in the afternoon hours, the NWS says. The snow’s affect will be amplified by falling temperatures and gusty northwest winds.

“Slick roadways and reduced visibility are likely during the heavy bands of snow,” according to the NWS. “As the snow ends Sunday evening, wind chill readings will drop below zero.”

The high temperature Monday is expected to be right around zero, with lows Monday night of -6. The high Tuesday is forecasted at 7, with a low Tuesday night of 6.

There is a slight chance of snow Wednesday, when temperatures will warm to a high of 29.



PLANNED RESPONSE

Les Kavanaugh, executive director of Clark County Emergency Management Agency, said it’s likely the agency, the NWS and officials for other affected counties will have a weather conference call late Saturday night.

“The only preparedness that I know [in Clark County] that we need to concern ourselves with is obviously your road crews out from your various communities, etc.,” he said. “Certainly, I’m concerned with the snow, the amounts that have been given, but I’m really more concerned with the extreme cold weather that will come in and impact us immediately behind that.”

Kavanaugh mentioned the Clark County Red Cross, volunteer organizations and faith-based groups for assistance in taking care of individuals.

“We generally rely on our nongovernmental agencies because the county has no mechanism for sheltering people. In the event of some sort of disaster, weather-related, whether it be tornado, flood related, or in this case of snow and ice, we would go on alert in terms of the county giving the people the necessary notifications they would be needing, in terms of travel advisories, soforth and so on.

“We’re not caught off-guard in terms of, what do we do now? We have mechanisms and organizations in place,” he added.

Barbara Anderson, executive director of Haven House Services Inc. — which operates the only homeless shelter in Southern Indiana — said the shelter is already packed beyond its about 60 person capacity. The Williams Emergency Shelter had 87 occupants on Friday.

However, when it gets this cold, “We fly the white flag, and we have the white flag out. That means nobody gets turned away,” she said. “If it’s someone we cannot serve — that means sexual offenders or someone who’s been banned from the property — we’ll get them to a Louisville shelter.

“Anyone who chooses to stay out in this weather, we don’t encourage that at all, but anyone who chooses to stay out is welcome to come in to warm up, to eat, to shower, and if they have to head back out, they do.”

She said the shelter has in the past relied on a local church for overflow, but the church hasn’t housed people since renovating.

“We’ll just put some mats on the floor if we have to. So far, we haven’t gotten to that point, and we have enough cots to do us,” she said. “We don’t want anyone out there freezing.”

Calls made to Floyd County Emergency Management were not returned as of press time.

Check back to newsandtribune.com and our news partners at WAVE 3 News for weather updates.