Almost fifty weather-related incidents, most of them involving vehicles, were reported to the Noble County Sheriff's Department as a result of Friday night's snowstorm.
Only a few inches of snow fell in the Albion area, which was touched by the edge of a storm that dumped record amounts of snow on some areas of the East Coast. However, a north wind gusting up to 40 mph produced deep drifts across many local roadways. The wind left other areas of pavement bare, giving drivers a false sense of security until they suddenly encountered snowy areas.
Between 5:20 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday the Noble County Sheriff's Department received reports of five accidents involving injuries; twenty-three property damage accidents; and eighteen reports of slide-offs and vehicles hung up in snowdrifts without being damaged, as well as a few medical calls when people slipped and fell.
US 6 near the Elkhart County line was reportedly closed for a time overnight, as several vehicles became stuck in deep snow and couldn't be moved. A semi and two four-wheelers became stuck in drifts on US 33, near CR 500W, and the truck had to be pulled out by a heavy-duty wrecker. SR 8 had to be shut down for a time near CR 500E after a car went out of control and crashed there.
At about 5:45 p.m. Friday US 6 became the scene of a traffic snarl near CR 500E, when a total of four accidents happened within minutes of each other, including one rollover. A semi was involved in that incident, along with an SUV and two cars, but no one was hurt.
An injury was reported when a 1995 Toyota hit a concrete wall along US 6, near CR 700 N at Wawaka. Kimberly V. Roth, 20, reportedly suffered minor bleeding when her Corolla crashed hard enough to deploy the airbags, but police say she refused medical treatment at the scene. It took over an hour to get the wreckage moved from the scene and traffic flowing normally again.
A sixteen year old driver reportedly suffered facial lacerations whent he Jeep Wrangler he was driving slid into a concrete boundary pole near county roads 50W and 200S, and three other injuries were reported in other parts of the county. Along the Noble-LaGrange County line near Topeka a vehicle rolled over, but in that case the driver wasn't hurt.
State snow plows were out most of the night, while county and municipal snow removal crews came out before dawn on Saturday and spent most of the day clearing roadways.
Meanwhile, firefighters from several area departments fought the snow and wind as well as flames as they battled a house fire at 8949 N 550 E; no injuries were reported in the fire, which took over three hours to bring under control. The cause of the fire is under investigation; units of the Kendallville, Orange Township, Albion, Avilla, Corunna, and Johnson Township Fire Departments, Noble County EMS, and Noble County Sheriff's Department responded. The American Red Cross, Noble REMC, and Noble County Highway Department also assisted.