More snow, below-zero wind chills on the way

2014-02-04T13:35:00Z 2014-08-25T11:32:12Z More snow, below-zero wind chills on the wayTimes Staff nwitimes.com
February 04, 2014 1:35 pm  • 

Anywhere from 3 to 8 inches of snow is expected in various parts of the region by Wednesday afternoon with wind chills as low as 25 below zero to follow on Thursday and Friday.

Lake, Porter, Newton, Jasper, Will and Cook counties are expected to remain under a winter weather advisory until noon Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. In LaPorte County, residents will remain under a winter weather advisory until 3 p.m.

Accumulating snowfall was expected to intensify overnight into Wednesday morning. Lake-effect snow is expected to add to the mix in areas close to the lakefront.

Forecasters are warning the moderate snowfall rates and strong winds will lead to reduced visibility and blowing and drifting snow, making for hazardous travel during the Wednesday morning commute.

According to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties were under a travel watch as of Tuesday afternoon, which only encouraged essential travel. 

Gov. Mike Pence directed INDOT to prepare for a full call-out across most of the state in light of the forecast.

"As severe winter weather continues, INDOT remains fully prepared to keep the interstates, U.S. highways and state routes open and as safe as possible for emergency responders," Pence said in a statement issued by INDOT on Tuesday morning. "We encourage Hoosiers to follow county travel advisories and not to put themselves or their local emergency responders in harm's way."

An INDOT spokesman said the state planned to call out more than 800 plow trucks to begin alternating 12-hour shifts on state highways before the storm hits.

According to a news release, the Illinois Department of Transportation planned to use 1,755 snow plows and had 3,700 employees ready to remove snow and ice throughout the state. Some parts of Illinois were expected to receive up to 9 inches of snow.  

Gary announced a new snow plowing tactic Tuesday and asked for the public's help in implementing it. City officials asked residents to park on the west side of streets there from 3 p.m. Tuesday through midnight Wednesday and again from 6 a.m. Friday to midnight Saturday.

"This way, emergency vehicles and school buses can get through the streets easier and residents will have more room to maneuver their vehicles as well," Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Lake, Porter and Cook counties are expected to get 3 to 5 inches of snow by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. LaPorte is expected to get 3 to 6 inches of snow. 

Jasper and Newton counties are expected to get the worst of it, with 5 to 8 inches of snow and intense blowing and drifting snow, forecasters said.

Indiana State Police warned drivers to slow down. According to a news release, people involved in a crash where speed played a factor could face a $500 fine. 

Indiana State Police for the Toll Road said there was restrictions on certain types of semitrucks until 5 p.m. Wednesday. 

The U.S. Postal Service again asked residents on Tuesday to clear snow and ice from pathways leading to their mailboxes to allow letter carriers to deliver the mail more efficiently.

The latest blast of snow is going to be followed by another round of dangerously cold, with wind chills of 20 to 25 below-zero forecast for Thursday and Friday mornings.

The weekend could bring more snow as well, with accumulating snow possible Friday night into Saturday.

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