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Indiana Governor declares State of Emergency

Screen shot of Pence's press conference braodcast on WTHR TV.
Screen shot of Pence's press conference braodcast on WTHR TV.
M Jester

Indiana Governor Mike Pence will declare a state of emergency for at least 27 counties in an executive order this afternoon. Pence made the announcement during a press conference before noon Monday. Pence said the number of counties will likely increase as condition reports continue to be collected by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). Federal assistance may be available if the state of emergency is approved at the federal level.

Other state agency officials also spoke at the press conference.Agencies represented included the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police, IDHS, and the Indiana National Guard.

Arvin Copeland of Indiana Department of Homeland Security explained that the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was mobilized Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. The state is on a Level Three alert, with seven state agencies represented in the command center located in Indianapolis.

Doug Carter, Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, reported that I-65 and I-80/I-94 in the northwest portion of the state are closed due to the combination of heavy snow and bitter cold temperatures. Carter warned travelers to not go around the barricades that have been placed to close the highways.

State offices are closed today. Pence said he will decide later today the status for tomorrow's schedule.

WTHR TV is reporting that there has been one storm related fatality in Henry County. A death in Indianapolis is being investigated to determine if it is weather related. Multiple schools have already announced that they will be closed on Tuesday. The station already has received over 800 announcement for closings.

Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) reported over 60,000 homes and businesses without power Sunday night. As of this morning that number had decreased to 30,000. WTHR reports that it may be Thursday before all power will be restored.