Chesterton Tribune


First winter storm fizzles in Duneland

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Old Man Weather appears to have given Duneland a pass this time, as the season’s first hyped storm came a cropper.

“We dodged a bullet,” Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune today. “We were anticipating lake-effect snow. We had all of the trucks loaded. The plow drivers went home early Thursday afternoon to take a nap. And then, pretty much nothing.”

The loop hole in the weatherman’s forecast: the temperature, which stayed above freezing well into the early morning hours. “I think the moisture moved out of our area before the temperature dropped to 32 degrees. That’s ultimately what saved us.”

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Schnadenberg added. “I kept waking up expecting to get a call. And the call never came.”

At 6:30 a.m., crews did make a swing through town and found a few isolated intersections slick enough to need salt, Schnadenberg noted. But the biggest problem was the high winds, which were toppling the 96-gallon rollaway garbage cans on today’s collection route.


At 9:30 a.m. the Northern Indiana Public Service Company was reporting a total of 3,960 outages across its service territory.

Comparatively few of them, however, were in Porter County: 35 reported in Chesterton, one in Beverly Shores, 17 in Valparaiso, 680 in Westville.

Elsewhere this Morning

At 4:15 a.m. INDOT's LaPorte District was starting to see some snow accumulation on the roads but the biggest concern was the high winds, which were causing whiteout conditions with little warning.

INDOT put on the road a “full contingent” of 170 trucks, whose drivers were reporting slushy conditions with some slick spots, especially on bridges, overpasses, and ramps. But the ground across the district was warm enough to keep the icing of roads to a minimum.

Lake County saw the most accumulation of snow, with I-80/94 in “fair” condition with some slick spots on ramps for the morning rush hour.

The South Bend and Plymouth areas were experiencing slushy roads and high winds, resulting in scattered trees and branches down, as well as some power outages.

INDOT reminded motorists that, in the event of a power outage, intersections without functioning traffic signals should be treated as four-way stops.

INDOT also reminded motorists who encounter plows to slow down, brake early, and exercise safe winter driving skills while giving plows plenty of room to work.

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Posted 12/21/2012