FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – The latest winter storm barreled through Fort Wayne, causing dangerous driving conditions.
Authorities put Allen County in a Travel Watch Advisory starting at three Monday afternoon, which is the orange category.
Some residents we talked with were wondering why Allen County didn’t issue a “red” travel advisory Monday – as other counties did.
In the orange — during a watch — only essential travel to and from work and in emergency situations is recommended.
Bump that up to the Red *Warning Category* and travel may be restricted to emergency management workers *only. *
ABC21 talked with Allen County’s Director of Homeland Security Bernie Beier about why the decision was made not to go red.
“In a small rural county with local businesses, that might not be as big of an impact,” Beier said. “But on a metropolitan county like Allen (County) with companies that do national and worldwide financial transactions, it’s impacting the economy. Not only Allen County, that’s a big thing to do is shut down businesses.”
Beier told ABC21 the Mayor and several local leaders have to declare a local disaster emergency. A move to the red category and they’d have to recommend business close.
“Use the local media to look at road conditions and have that conversation as the storm is forecast,” Beier said. “As the storm progresses, we encourage local businesses to make the best decisions for themselves and for the employees to keep them safe.”
Beier also told ABC21 that travel watches and advisories are just recommendations.
Staying in the orange gave drivers and businesses more flexibility to decide whether to take the risk of traveling.
“I came in from Churubusco and it was pretty slick,” Fort Wayne resident Greg Perigo said. “There were a lot of roads that were unplowed. You need to be careful when our there for sure.”
Perigo also says he saw many people take it slow and take extra precautions.
“When you are coming in and you’re in town, you need to be extra careful when to navigate the streets,” he said. “The roads are slick and it’s easy to do loop de loop around here.”