Starke County officials are keeping a close eye on the weather and may issue travel restrictions if necessary. Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti says the county commissioners have the final say and consider several factors, including the safety of snow plow drivers, first responders and the public in general.
He adds the county highway and EMA have been rehearsing their response to a winter weather emergency since late summer.
“We’re kind of like the fashion stores where in the winter time they’ve got the swimsuits out. We’re always preparing a season ahead. The drivers have been out practicing their areas.”
Bombagetti urges motorists to heed any travel restrictions that may be placed into effect. The statewide system is designed to protect the citizens of Starke County and those traveling through our county by providing them with a standardized format that they can use as a reference to make informed decisions that could impact their safety when traveling on county roads during certain conditions.
When a decision is made to implement a Travel Advisory or Travel Restriction, the following format is used:
A Warning is the highest level of local advisory. It means that travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. During a Warning local travel advisory, individuals are directed to:
- Refrain from all travel
- Comply with necessary emergency measures;
- Corporate with public officials and disaster services forces executing emergency management operations plans; and
- Obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers
A Watch level travel advisory means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a Watch local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work, or in emergency situations is recommended. Emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, and other organizations.
The lowest level, an Advisory means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas.
When any of the above levels go into effect the Starke County Emergency Management activates the appropriate level of their Emergency Operations Center. Information on road conditions, schedule of the plows, etc can be gotten by dialing 574-772-9182, please do not call the Starke County Sheriff’s Dispatch, as they are busy enough handling the emergencies within Starke County.