Starke County Highway Department Still Assessing Roads

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler
Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen “Rik” Ritzler
The temperature is hovering right around 0 degrees but it feels like -19 degrees with the bitter wind chill, and the high winds are giving road cleanup crews a run for their money. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told WKVI this afternoon that crews have been busy since 5 a.m. wrestling with the drifting snow, but it’s hard going.

“The guys have been working hard; they’ve been running since this morning at 5 a.m. They’ve been working hard to get the drifts, but unfortunately, they can’t keep up with the wind and cold weather. The wind keeps blowing snow back on the roads,” Ritzler explained.

The travel advisory is still in effect, restricting travel to emergency vehicles only. Violators could face a potential $500 fine.

Ritzler said the roads might look OK, but that doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous. Ice can be transparent and hard to spot, and Ritzler said the road assessments are still underway.

“Ninety percent of the roads look good, but they are deceptively icy. They are not in as good of condition as they look, so sometimes people have a false sense of security out on the road, and then they hit a drift. We are still doing our road assessments for this afternoon and we will make a recommendation to the commissioners on the advisory soon,” Ritzler said.