- Associated Press - Sunday, January 26, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Schools across Indiana announced they’d be closed Monday, and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard urged businesses and organizations to at least delay their openings as another round of arctic air was forecast to push in and send wind chill below zero.

The National Weather Service issued wind chill warnings for portions of the state, saying values could reach 45 below zero in northwestern Indiana and approach 40 below elsewhere in northern and central Indiana from Monday morning through Tuesday morning.

Ballard urged residents of the state’s largest city to gas up their vehicles and stock up on food Sunday before the bitter cold arrived.

“Due to extreme temps, I encourage schools, biz & organizations to delay opening Monday at minimum. Safety of anyone outside is top concern,” Ballard tweeted.

Indianapolis also canceled trash pickup and curbside recycling through Wednesday.

Among the weather-related closures, Valparaiso University in northwestern Indiana canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday.

Passengers on the South Shore commuter trains in should expect weather-related delays on trains between Michigan City and Chicago early this week, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District said, explaining prolonged sub-zero temperatures will strain mechanical and track systems. It said it would bus passengers between South Bend and Michigan City through Wednesday as a precaution.

Even before the chill set in, motorists in northern Indiana had to contend with a few more inches of fresh snow and blustery winds blowing snow across roads and lowering visibilities. A 15-mile stretch of Interstate 65 in White County and Interstates 80/94 in Lake County had numerous slide-offs, spin-outs, jackknifed semitrailers and other crashes, Indiana State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas said Sunday.

“Staying off the interstate entirely is the safest option. Use alternate routes,” Wojas said.

Seven central and northern Indiana counties - Steuben, Fulton, Wabash, Huntington, Tipton, Jay and Randolph - were limiting travel Sunday to emergency management workers only, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security said on its website. More than 40 other counties mostly in northern and eastern Indiana recommended only essential travel.

The Madison County Highway Department reported snowdrifts higher 10 feet Saturday in some areas of the county northeast of Indianapolis, The (Anderson) Herald Bulletin reported.