Region slogs through another snowstorm

2014-02-01T19:35:00Z 2014-02-05T05:28:10Z Region slogs through another snowstormTimes Staff nwitimes.com
February 01, 2014 7:35 pm  • 

Another round of snow hit the region Saturday, with travel and winter storm warnings attempting to ease the effects of the latest blast.

A winter storm warning expired at 6 p.m. Saturday for Lake and Porter counties in Indiana and Cook and Will counties in Illinois. A winter storm warning remained in effect for LaPorte County through midnight. Jasper, Newton and Benton counties were under a winter weather advisory until midnight.

The Indiana Department of Transportation issued travel warnings for Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties. Under a travel warning, only essential travel such as driving to and from work or in emergencies is recommended. That remained in effect Saturday night.

Indiana State Police and INDOT reported numerous, scattered crashes on northbound Interstate 65 near Rensselaer between the 193 and 212 mile markers around 7:30 p.m. due to slushy roads freezing over. Officials urged motorists to reduce speeds and increase following distance.

INDOT said all plow and salt truck crews were called out in the Northwest Indiana District.

Local police said roads in most areas were snow- or slush-covered Saturday morning and afternoon. By Saturday evening, most roads throughout the region were more slushy than snow-covered, police said.

Indiana State Police for the Toll Road said they had a hard time keeping up with all the slide-offs and spin-outs throughout the length of the roadway during the afternoon.

Indiana State Police for the Lowell District said they responded to numerous slide-off and spin-out crashes in the afternoon hours. Illinois State Police reported similar conditions on Interstate 94 and Ill. 394.

No serious-injury crashes were reported.

The quarter inch of ice originally forecast to follow the snow tracked farther south than expected, hitting areas near Rensselaer and Fair Oaks, police and National Weather Service meteorologists said.

Police credited that and temperatures in the 20s for a relatively low number of serious crashes.

Hundreds of flights also were canceled at Chicago's airports as a result of the weather.

The city's Department of Aviation said airlines canceled more than 350 flights Saturday at O'Hare International Airport. According to the National Weather Service, visibility at O'Hare narrowed to less than a mile.

Airlines at Midway International Airport also canceled more than 100 flights for the day.

South Shore commuter trains also experienced delays Saturday as a result of the weather.

The National Weather Service reported about 4 inches of snow throughout the region as of 7 a.m. Another 3 to 4 inches was expected before the snow came to an end. Snow totals from weather watchers who report to the National Weather Service were not immediately available Saturday night.

The snow was the latest in a string of snowy weather for the start of the year.

National Weather Service data shows Chicago is on track to record the third-snowiest January in its history. As of Friday morning, Chicago received 33.7 inches of snow for the month. That comes in third behind January 1979 with 40.4 inches of snow and January 1918 with 42.5 inches.

Another storm is forecast to move across the region Tuesday and Wednesday with the potential for significantly accumulating snow and below-zero temperatures. The forecast for total accumulations for that storm were not yet available Saturday from the National Weather Service.

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