TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– The Vigo County Highway Department has spent the past several days gearing up for this week’s winter storm.

Highway director Larry Robbins said they will have crews working 12-hour shifts, starting at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“It looks like the most intensity we’re going to see is probably in that 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. timeframe, possibly even up into noon,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we wanted to get our crews started a little early, make sure the morning commute is as good as we can get it at that point.”

Those crews, which consists of about 24 drivers, will be joined by nearly 1,000 drivers from the Indiana Department of Transportation who will work across the state. INDOT said they will focus on interstates, state roads and US routes.

Compared to the last winter storm in the area, which came through about a month ago, Robbins said there was one favorable thing about this forecast– the temperatures. Robbins said salt isn’t nearly as effective in sub-zero temperatures.

“With this system, the amount doesn’t really affect us as much, other than it could come down all at one time which could make it a little more difficult to take care of, but the temperatures are going to stay up in the mid-30s, which just means our material is going to work really, really well,” he said.

Still, he said drivers who can stay home tomorrow morning should– both for their safety, and to make things easier for snowplows.

“Stay home if you can, it makes it a little more difficult for us to plow snow if there are vehicles out there that we have to contend with as well,” Robbins said.

If you do have to go out, crews will be focused on clearing main roads and throughways first– and Robbins said you should stick to those roads as much as possible.

“If it’s a situation where the snowfall’s coming down at a rate that we can’t keep up with, those are the ones we’re going to focus on, so those roads are going to be open and you should adjust your route accordingly,” he said.

We will continue to monitor the storm as it develops.