Applying salt to a road with little traffic usually creates a situation where the top layer of the packed surface thaws a bit, and then refreezes at night, creating more slick spots than there would have been otherwise, Cain said.
“Sometimes salt can have a negative effect,” he said.
The majority of calls on local roadways have been the “assist motorist” variety, the catch-all phrase police and sheriff deputies use for helping stranded drivers.
From noon Sunday to noon Tuesday, the Kokomo Police Department and the Howard County Sheriff Department responded to more than 167 assist motorist calls, as well as several calls to assist at scenes where cars slid off roadways and were abandoned. There were no serious injuries reported in that time.
Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers said he’s pressed the department’s five four-wheel drive vehicles into 24-hour service during the storm, and the department is also using a number of new Chevy Tahoe SUVs to assist motorists.
Even so, Rogers said, the officers have responded to several calls where a deputy needed assistance getting unstuck.
And three days into battling the storm, just about every department is seeing the effects of vehicle fatigue. At INDOT’s Tipton subdistrict, three of the 27 trucks are in the shop right now, while others have been in and out, Maginity said.
In Kokomo, gelling diesel fuel caused some problems, but Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight praised the performance of city employees.
“I have no complaints whatsoever with their performance,” Goodnight said. “All things considered, I think it has gone pretty well.”
Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569, email@example.com, or on Twitter, @JasonSSmith1.
Police/sheriff traffic calls from Noon Sunday to Noon Tuesday City of Kokomo Howard County 65 assist motorist 92 assist motorist 38 property damage accidents 2 property damage accidents 0 personal injury accidents 1 personal injury accident 3 slide offs 5 slide offs Total 106 100