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We've had worse ... but not lately.

My Albion New Era article:

The Blizzard of '07?

White out conditions and over a foot of snow caused havoc in Noble County over the weekend, fanned into drifts by 30 mph winds. The result was predictable: Roads blown shut, vehicles stuck and cancellations.

The storm started Saturday afternoon, and by 7 a.m. Sunday the National Weather Service estimated 8-9 inches had fallen over the area. Then the wind picked up, gusting close to 40 mph as another 2-4 inches fell during the day Sunday. Temperatures rose only to the mid 20's, leading to wind chill factors near zero.

The Town of Albion, City of Kendallville, and City of Ligonier each declared Level 2 Snow Emergencies, advising no one to drive except to and from work or in emergencies. A snow emergency was not issues for Noble County as a whole.

Churches and organizations across the area cancelled services. As driving conditions remained poor, all Noble County public schools canceled Monday classes.

INDOT State Highway trucks worked the highways all night, trying to fight back drifts, while Noble County Highway trucks began work at 7 a.m.

In Albion, Street Department crews came out at around 3 in the morning, and as a result were available to assist when an emergency broke out at 3:20 a.m. Albion Fire and Noble County EMS units were called to Skinner Lake Drive North for a medical assist, but the ambulance had trouble reaching the site because of snow drifts, and crews were afraid they wouldn't be able get their patient out again. An Albion snow plow was sent out to assist in accessing the scene.

Plowing roads was a losing battle overall -- high winds continued to drift roads shut, almost as quickly as they could be opened. Work continued through the day, but driving remained hazardous for the rest of the weekend and well into Monday.

Numerous vehicles, including four wheel drives, slid off the road or became stuck in drifts, which reached all the way across roadways three or more feet high. Even tow trucks and four wheel drives were unable to free some of the vehicles, which presented problems to snow plow drivers who had to figure out how to get around them. A tow truck driver trying to assist a four wheel drive vehicle, which was picking up medical personnel for their work shifts, reportedly broke a drive shaft, leaving CR 900N completely blocked until another wrecker could make its way in.

About two dozen accidents and stuck vehicles were reported between Saturday night and 8 a.m. Sunday; another two dozen were reported between then and Monday morning, with some involving injuries. A woman driving a Ford F-150 was hospitalized after she reportedly slid off SR 3, near CR 100S, late Saturday night. Apparently passers-by helped her free the vehicle and she drove to a local hospital to be treated for a leg injury. However, she didn't notify anyone and was reported missing by family members; police units from Noble, Dekalb and Allen counties spent a tense and unnecessary time searching for her before discovering she was

Several motorists were stuck inside their vehicles for some time until someone could get to them; at least one driver disregarded common sense and tried to walk away from his stuck vehicle, although luckily for him a snow plow driver found the driver and took him to a convenience store nearby.

A State Highway plow was involved in an accident near the State Highway Garage on US 6. A passing semi clipped the front of the plow at about 2:48 a.m. The semi driver reportedly stopped for a moment, then took off driving east again and didn't report the collision.

In the midst of the blizzard, a police pursuit happened on the west side of the county. A Cromwell Police officer tried to pull over a Chevy Silverado four wheel drive after allegedly seeing it run a stop sign, and the driver refused to stop for him. Ligonier Police joined the chase moments later.

That incident began at 1:16 a.m. when the truck fled north on US 33, then west on US 6, before the occupants finally stopped on Blue Road a few minutes later. Steven S. Martin, 24, of Goshen, received a felony count of OWI because of a previous conviction. His passengers, 23 year old Brandon S. Martin and 23 year old Aaron J. Menzie, both of Nappanee were charged with Public Intoxication. All three were taken, slowly, to the Noble County Jail to be held on bond. After dropping the prisoners off, the police cruiser that transported them became stuck in the jail parking lot.

Walking was moderately safer than driving, assuming short distances and lots of bundling up.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A snow plow coming down Orange Street is barely visible, as wind and snow combine to form white-out conditions.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It's beginning to look a lot like ... a blizzard? By mid Sunday morning, the only sane place to take pictures from was the reporter's front porch.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Welcome to my home. The Christmas tree is an indoor artificial tree, placed in the corner of the front porch so there would be no chance any large amount of snow would get on it. You may snicker now.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

More "Blizzard of 07" pics at: http://s25.photobucket.com/albums/c97/ozma914/Blizzard%20of%2007/



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2007 07:31 am (UTC)
WOW. Just wow.
Dec. 19th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
you can say that again
That wasn't quite what I said ... but your response is something that can be repeated in mixed company. :-)
Dec. 18th, 2007 10:17 am (UTC)
See that's snow. I amazed that anything is occuring and imagine you're rushed off your feet currently.

I don't need to imagine how we would cope over here with that amount of snow. I know we wouldn't. It is quite chilly over here currently but they think it will warm up for Christmas the only time we actually want snow.
Dec. 19th, 2007 07:29 am (UTC)
This used to be the kind of weather we got every year; in the early 80's we'd get hit by storms like this three or four times a year, and anything under 4 inches was just shrugged off. However, in recent years ice has been a worse problem than snow, and a lot of younger residents aren't very good at coping with it, either.

At least, this one time, we *will* have a white Christmas: it's supposed to get above freezing every day this week, but not enough to melt it all off.
Dec. 18th, 2007 12:50 pm (UTC)
Good Lord, Mark, that looks bad. It even puts working late on Sunday into perspective. We even had clips of this on the BBC, though rather unhelpfully they just described the snow as being "in the US". The reporters seem to have overlooked a slight question of scale there...

It's fascinating to see how even a blizzard doesn't stop some people behaving like total morons - running a red light, going to hospital and not bothering to tell folks she's all right - and so on and so forth. All extra work for the everyday heroes who are still risking their own lives in these conditions.

Keep yourself warm and safe.
Dec. 19th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
Well, your BBC reporter were being general for a good reason: This storm hit the whole eastern part of the US. From what I've heard, the upper Great Lakes states and the New England states actually got hit worse than we did. It snowed at strangexgirl's home in southern Missouri, and it rarely snows there even in January.

Yes, natural disasters do tend to bring out the morons. And the heroes -- who then have to help the morons.
Dec. 18th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the Blizzard of Oz(ma) pictures - you certainly have Weather with a capital W!
Dec. 19th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)
But I want weather with a *small* W! :-)
Dec. 18th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
wow,we didn't get nearly that... maybe 5 inches? Just enough to make it hard as heck to get outta the driveway yesterday, lol.
Dec. 19th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC)
Really? I believe the official NWS snowfall for Kendallville was 10 inches, although several people measured up to a foot closer to the center of the county. I heard there was freezing rain in Fort Wayne, which would cut down snowfall amounts but cause all sorts of other problems.

I got stuck trying to get *in* to the driveway.
Dec. 18th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
I know it's bad, but my daughter would be envious; she can't get too much snow!

There was an interesting (and relevant) show of some sort on the Disc. channel just the other day, about some of the great snow storms of the 70's, including a huge one in Buffalo. Employers paradoxically made things worse as they let people off early. Roads got jammed quickly and emergency vehicles and plows couldn't get through.

Too often people ignore the best advice to just hunker down and wait it out.

And 4WD's? My experience has been too many owners are morons who think they can take their truck out into anything (uh, yeah, like ice is somehow sticker for a 4WD than any other car when you brake).

To the limited ability you can, enjoy the snow!
Dec. 19th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
Oh, I know what you mean. I loved snow as a kid and teen, then the whole frostbite thing happened and sucked the fun right out of it. Right now I still wouldn't mind snow -- if I didn't have to heat the house and if I didn't have to go out in it. Sadly, neither works for me.

I saw that Discovery Channel program. I remember the Blizzard of '78 very well; I was 15, and we were out of school for a week and stranded in our homes until payloaders could clear the streets. Of course, to me it was a great adventure, but I didn't work in the emergency services; now I feel entirely different about it.

There is one thing I like about winter weather, though: seeing those idiot 4WD drivers learning their lessons the hard way. Around here, 80% of the vehicles you see stuck in ditches and snowdrifts are trucks and SUV's.
Dec. 18th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
Ah yes....the reason I live in New Mexico instead of Indianapolis! In 1978 the blizzard snowed us in for a few days. That next spring I moved here. Ahhhhh the memories. Ice picks in the trunk, snow that has to be knocked off with a broom (also in trunk) before a scraper, cat litter in the trunk, blankets and sterno in the trunk just in case. Yes I remember it well.

Dec. 19th, 2007 07:46 am (UTC)
I can certainly see how the Blizzard of '78 could sent you packing! I'd have moved too, if I could -- and I was just 15. We were snowed in for almost a week. And just think, winter doesn't even start until this weekend ....

I'm going to go cry now.
Dec. 18th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Holy cow! That is some snow.
Dec. 19th, 2007 07:47 am (UTC)
No, not holy cow -- the cows disappeared. :-) Yeah, it was "interesting", which is the term my shift partner uses when everything goes horribly wrong.
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
It was the same way here in regard to the roads. I can see a busy road from my window and in the morning I could see a salt truck going down the road . . . and ten minutes later it came back . . . and then ten minutes later it came back AGAIN. They just couldn't keep up.

It's funny that you don't hear about snow all that often. Always the hurricanes and the tornados and such, but never the snow . . . people need huge disasters in their news, I guess.

Typo: Steven S. Martin, 24, of Goshen, received a felony county of OWI because of a previous conviction.

Felony 'count'?

Love the pictures!
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
Gah -- that's two I missed! At least the other one was pointed out to me early but it seems you're the only one to catch this one. That's the kind of mistake I have to be particularly careful of -- I use the word "county" all the time in my news articles, so my hand tends to automatically punch it out. *sigh*

The state highway crews were running almost constantly for three days straight and are just now finishing their cleaning of the berms ... there are still mountains of snow around Albion, waiting for the city crews to get to them, and I see those guys on the move constantly. That's just a crap load of snow. I've been plugging away at my driveway, and wondering why I don't have a snowblower, ever since.

I see a fair amount of coverage of snowstorms, but then I am a news/weather junkie. Plus, bad news always gets my attention, and to me that's as bad as it gets.
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:49 am (UTC)
Ah, well, I have a talent for seeing other people's mistakes, it seems. Not exactly a good quality, but I think I make pretty good use of it ;) I just wish I had as sharp of an eye for my own work . . .

I completely understand the trouble you are having. It's pretty common, especially when you are typing. My guess is that it has something to do with muscle memory, and if you type something enough, your fingers grow accustomed to writing out that word when you hit the first few letters.

I know. My uncle works for one of those crews for our country and he pulled a 36 hour shift. Luckily he was mostly changing blades and making repairs, so he didn't actually have to drive out in the stuff. There isn't that much here now that it has settled down, but we have relatives up north and they say they almost have double what we do. (Ps. Beauty of living in a complex -- maintance men! We didn't have to touch our walkway.)
Dec. 19th, 2007 11:33 am (UTC)
Yes, I've heard stories of what went on up north. Unlike us, some areas in northern Michigan were actually placed under blizzard warnings, not to mention all that fun lake effect snow. We didn't have it worst here in northeast Indiana, not by a long shot.

As for maintenance men, my back tells me I should move into an apartment. :-)

I think seeing other people's mistakes is a good quality. If worse comes to worse, you can always go to work as a copyeditor while waiting for that big literary break, after all. But most people can't find the mistakes in their own work. We tend to see what we expected to type, rather than what we actually do type; that's why it's so important to have someone else proofread our stuff before posting/sending to an editor.
Dec. 19th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)

We got about 6" and none of the bad blowing snow they were predicting. Didn't take much to clear the roads and get back to business as usual.

Glad you're ok and nice and toasty warm. I've gotta call/email my folks at Loon Lake to see how they're getting on!

BTW, if you see Char (my sister Char) give her my love and tell her to call me sometime, willya? THANKS!
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:03 am (UTC)
I will if I see her, but I haven't in months; I'll keep an eye out for her!

I'm glad you missed out on the blowing snow; that always hits us even harder than the snow itself. Wind and snow -- gah! Not happy.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 28th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
There are other places where it was worse than here!
Dec. 30th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
I'm late to the party, but I just now read this post. OMG. I knew theoretically about the blizzard but that was at the height of my work insanity and I never saw pics on the news. My God, you guys really had a mess. And your poor tree on the porch.....

I've sent you a spring icon, I think you could use something warm. :-)
Dec. 31st, 2007 09:08 am (UTC)
I brushed the snow off the tree and waited until it had completely dried off before I tried to turn on the lights again. So far, so good.

Thanks for the icon -- a little spring color is much appreciated, with three months of winter staring me in the face! We just now got an alert for a winter storm watch on New Year's Eve -- they're saying a possibility of 5-9 inches.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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