Snowstorm socks NWI

The first snowstorm of the winter hit Northwest Indiana on Saturday, with forecasters predicting snowfall totals up to 9 inches in places. Some areas saw whiteout conditions at times as the lake-effect snow machinery kicked into high gear.

Doug Ross, The Times

OGDEN DUNES — A South Shore Line train's pantagraph got tangled in the wires Saturday and resulted in delays of up to three hours, according to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

Police said the mishap resulted in Hillcrest Road, the main entrance to Ogden Dunes, being blocked. Residents were advised to use the alternate entrance, near the Portage Lakefront Park, until Hillcrest could be reopened.

Just before 3 p.m., police reported the train has moved and the road has reopened, but the road is subject to intermittent closures as the cleanup continues.

South Shore Line General Manager Mike Noland said Train 503, out of Chicago, caused a power outage that affected two other trains as well.

South Shore Freight diesel engines were used to move the other trains. Buses were standing by at the Dune Park station to help passengers get to their destinations.

Crews monitored the temperature on the affected trains and were ready to provide blankets, but they weren't needed, Noland said.

A lake-effect snowstorm made conditions dangerous on the roads as well as the rails, with white-out conditions reported at times.

"It's windy, the snow is going sideways in places, it's Northwest Indiana," Noland said.

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