GRIFFITH | The bad winter is affecting everything from plowing, garbage collection and train traffic through town, officials said.
"We are in a Catch-22 right now" in trying to clear the streets to their full widths to open the stormwater drains, said Public Works Director Rick Konopasek.
The department is also trying to clear the fire hydrants from the snow, with a bit of help from the Fire Department, Konopasek added.
Councilwoman Patricia Schaadt, R-4, saiud some residents are still leaving their cars on the streets and causing problems for the snowplows.
People need to be warned not to park cars across from each other because the plows have difficulty moving between them, she said.
Konopasek said some cars are being parked several feet from the snow banks so passengers can get out of the vehicles.
"If any resident has a parking problem, please call us," Police Chief Greg Mance said, noting that some residents already have been warned, ticketed and towed.
Last week's garbage collection also was affected because the alleys are too narrow, with the snow piled on both sides, for the trucks to navigate.
As a result, residents with alleys were asked to put their refuse in the front, Konopasek said.
The council also read a letter from the Canadian National Railway in response to residential complaints about idling trains near the 40th Street crossing.
Jim Kvedaras, CNR's director of U.S. Government Affairs, noted that the extreme winter weather is affecting every railroad in America, especially in Gary's Kirk Yard — which is the CNR's largest switching yard in the United States.
The railroad is trying to move rail traffic in and out as quickly as possible.
"As we do, our trains are all trying to continue to move, but need to stop and wait for other traffic on other tracks to clear."
The letter also noted that similar complaints are coming from other parts of the country and asked for people to "please bear with us as we work to get through winter ..."
Council President Rick Ryfa, R-3rd, said he has already spoken to the residents about the railroad's reply.