Commuters headed to work Monday morning encountered wind chills of 15 to 20 below zero and delays on the South Shore rail line and Interstate 94.

A power outage delayed several westbound trains on the South Shore Line early Monday, but power was restored just after 8 a.m., NIPSCO's online outage map showed.

The commuter rail line cited mechanical problems for a 10- to 15-minute delay for westbound Train 14, which was scheduled to leave Carroll Avenue in Michigan City at 8:37 a.m. An eastbound train was delayed because of problems on the Metra rails.

A slide-off on westbound Interstate 94 near Ind. 249 in Portage slowed traffic for at least an hour. The semitrailer was removed by 9:30 a.m., images at the Indiana Department of Transportation's TrafficWise website showed.

Most roads were clear of snow, but police responded to scattered crashes on local and state roads. State police for the Lowell post said they also were checking on reports of disabled vehicles and ensuring any people in those vehicles get out of the cold.

The outage that delayed South Shore Line trains also affected thousands of customers in the Porter and Valparaiso areas. NIPSCO crews restored power as quickly as possible, but the cause remained undetermined as of 7:50 a.m., a spokeswoman said.

Another earlier outage affecting customers in the Chesterton area was fixed about 7 a.m., NIPSCO said. That outage was caused by cold and wind.

On the South Shore Line, the power outage delayed westbound Trains 102 and 104 for up to 30 minutes. Trains 106, 108, 110, 112 and 114 also were expected to be delayed by 10 to 15 minutes, officials said.

The commuter rail line was again busing passengers between South Bend and Carroll Avenue in Michigan City because of the cold.

All trash and recycling routes were delayed one day in Portage due to the cold weather.

A wind chill advisory for Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties was set to expire at 10 a.m., while the advisory for LaPorte County continued until 11 a.m.

A number of schools have announced closures or two-hour delays. Several communities also are operating warming centers for residents who need relief from the cold.

Check back at nwi.com for updates to this story.

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