A New Year's storm left dozens of vehicles stranded in ditches and snow drifts around the area. It began New Year's Eve and continued pushing snow and strong winds through the area for two days.
The storm dumped around half a foot of snow on Noble County. That was less than originally predicted by the National Weather Service, which issued a winter storm warning New Year's Eve and then a snow and blowing snow advisory on New Year's Day. Drivers might have been fooled by the lower than expected amount of snow, but winds gusting at 20-40 mph needed only a little help to begin drifting.
Many roads, especially north-south routes, quickly drifted shut. An ambulance trying to reach a medical emergency on CR 900W became stuck in the drifts, but was aided by volunteer firefighters and a Noble County Highway truck that left its normal route to hurry to the scene.
Many state, county, and town snow plow crews spent their holiday weekend on the road, but had trouble making progress because of the wind.
Twenty stranded or disabled vehicles and accidents were called into the Noble County Sheriff's Department on New Year's Eve. On January 1st, despite many businesses being closed, 22 other such incidents were reported, and 22 more came in through the morning on January 2nd. Highway crews had trouble clearing roads because of the large number of stranded vehicles, which were often abandoned by drivers who didn't notify police agencies of the vehicles' locations or how to contact the owners.
As a result, tow trucks had to be called in to remove several vehicles that made it impossible for snow plows to get through. Other cars were left temporarily, if trucks were able to navigate past them.
The storm also resulted in a power outage in the Cromwell area. The first reports of an outage began coming in at around 12:41 a.m. January 1st, leaving the entire town without power. A wire was reported down near Baker and Second Streets, but Cromwell firefighters say it was a cable TV line; how the power outage originated wasn't certain, but NIPSCO crews responded to get electricity back on.
Another cable TV wire, weighted down by the heavy snow, reportedly fell into an Albion back yard in the 400th block of York Street.
Some of the accidents reported over the holiday include:
A teenager escaped injury when he rolled over the vehicle he was driving near Albion New Year's morning. Matthew D. Koorsen, 17, lost control of a 1993 Ford at Long Lake Road and CR 100N, overturning on the north side of the roadway.
Another teenager slid into a utility pole on Albion Road, New Year's Eve. Alyssa M. Schermerhorn, 18, also escaped injury, when her Pontiac Grand Am hit a pole near US 33 at about 9:10 p.m.
A pickup truck wiped out a line of mailboxes and hit a brick wall at CR 525 W and Diamond Lake Road, the same night. Richard Moser reported that crash at 11:21 p.m.
A woman driving on US 6 had a close call when her vehicle slid off the roadway at about 5:10 a.m. New Year's morning. Yvette Castillo, 25, was driving a Pontiac Grand Prix that went out of control near CR 500 W and stopped at the edge of an embankment, tilted nearly on its side with one wheel in the air.
Police were able to get two small children out of the vehicle, but Castillo had to stay in the car with her foot on the brake until a wrecker was able to pull the car back from the edge. No one was injured.
Although many drivers ended up stuck where they were, a hit and run accident happened north of Albion New Year's Eve. A vehicle reportedly ran off CR 15W near 900 W, and then fled, leaving behind the grill of a silver or grey Lincoln. That accident happened at about 7:15 p.m.