Pushing groceries through a snowstorm. (Photo by J Swygart)
Decatur and Adams County were returning to normalcy today after the season's first major snowstorm hit the area in the first week of winter.
Officials at the Decatur weather station reported measuring three and one-half inches of snow
Actually, this area was somewhat fortunate in that it escaped the major brunt of the storm which moved through the Indiana and much of the Midwest. A rare blizzard swirled across the state Wednesday, bringing snow deep enough to strand snowplows in some areas and making travel treacherous.
About a foot of wet snow fell in an area from around Vincennes eastward through the Bloomington and Nashville areas, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. (See accompanying story.)
Neighboring Willshire, Ohio, was under a blizzard warning for much of the day and travel in that area was reported considerably more hazardous than in the Decatur area.
Good news comes from the NWS forecast, which says the only chance of snow in Adams County through the middle of next week will come Friday night, 40 percent, and Saturday daytime, 20 percent.
Decatur streets are slick, but wide open, after city crews put in some night hours.
"We worked our normal shift yesterday (Wednesday), then came back in from 9 p.m. to around 1 a,.m. today pushing snow off (streets) and cleaning up," Street/Sanitation Superintendent Jeremy Gilbert said at 8 a,m. today. "The streets are slick, but we'll get some salt down and hopefully the sun will come out today and that will take care of a lot of that."
Adams County Highway Department crews resumed their work at 6 a.m. today after Wednesday's storm left a wintery mess and caused workers to continue their cleanup efforts into the night.
A spokeswoman at the department this morning said county roads "are slick, but as long as you're safe and careful, you'll be okay."
She said 11 trucks and other pieces of snow-moving equipment were dispatched this morning.
The sheriff's department was called to several traffic accidents, mostly slideoffs, one of which involved an Amish buggy and horse. One two-vehicle accident sent several people to Adams Memorial Hospital with apparently minor injuries (see separate story).
At 12:25 p.m., Adams County was placed under a Watch Travel Alert Level, meaning that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. That was the worst of the designations,however, and it has since been removed.
At 7 a.m. today, the NWS office in Fort Wayne reported a temperature reading of 24 degrees, with a northwest wind at 10 mph and gusts up to 17 mph producing a wind-chill reading of 17 degrees.
A high near 30 degrees was expected in the Decatur area today, with little or no sunshine, and tonight should bring the coldest reading of the season, 13 degrees.
Highs around 30 are forecast for Friday and Saturday, with lows around 20, then Sunday should see slightly cooler readings, the weather bureau said.