Freeze settles in, more snow expected

2014-01-22T23:30:00Z 2014-08-25T11:32:12Z Freeze settles in, more snow expectedTimes Staff nwitimes.com
January 22, 2014 11:30 pm  • 

Drifting snow and wind chills of 20 to 25 below zero could create problems for Thursday morning commuters. 

Northwest Indiana was scheduled to remain under a winter weather advisory until 4 a.m. Thursday and under a wind chill advisory until noon, according to the National Weather Service.  

Forecasters said another 1 to 2 inches of snow will fall in LaPorte County by Thursday morning, with 2 to 4 inches of snow expected in the band from Michigan City to South Bend and Elkhart.

Duneland School Corp., Valparaiso Community Schools, Michigan City Area Schools, Union Township School Corp., Merrillville High School and St. Patrick School in Chesterton were scheduled to have a 2-hour delay Thursday morning. Griffith Public Schools canceled classes for Thursday. 

The Borman Expressway remained snow-covered and slick Wednesday morning from the lake-effect snow. By Wednesday night, conditions appeared to begin improving. 

The lake-effect snow lingered in Lake County longer than expected Tuesday, which clogged Interstate 80/94 and portions of Interstate 65 for most of the day Tuesday.

Jessica Richards, 37, of Valparaiso, said she got onto I-80/94 about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday to begin her commute to Franciscan St. Margaret Health in Hammond. Her commute is typically about 45 minutes but took about three and a half hours Tuesday. 

"I have driven in snow, but I never encountered anything like this," she said. "I left my house, and it was fine. Then boom, I was in the middle of the blizzard."

Richards said she and other motorists were driving less than 5 mph for an hour and said visibility was so low that it was difficult to see the car in front of her. She said some people had to temporarily park and clean off their car because of how fast the snowing was piling down I-80/94. 

She said she avoided the interstates on her way back home, but said her commute was still extended to about three hours. By Wednesday afternoon, she decided to take her chances and got back on the interstate.

"We are only going about 25 mph," she said. "But I'll take it."

Indiana State Police Cpl. Dan Becker said police responded to numerous slide-offs and spin-outs early Wednesday. As traffic increased and traffic slowed to a crawl, police reported fewer slide-offs and spin-outs and more fender-benders.

No serious accidents were reported.

Interstate 65 near the Borman Expressway also had problems with lingering snow-cover on the road and ramps.

Police advised motorists to reduce speeds and allow extra following space or avoid the Borman if possible.

Lake County police said Cline Avenue north of the Borman Expressway was slick and hazardous as well.

The Indiana Department of Transportation on Wednesday afternoon said crews continued to plow and salt roads. However, the department warned there was still pockets of hard-packed snow and slick conditions. 

On U.S. 30, motorists reported that it was clogged with semis, many of which were likely seeking an alternate east-west route to the Borman. The left westbound lane was snow-covered and slick, drivers said.

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