Late winter snowstorm blankets area
Officials from the Adams County Sheriff Department reported early this morning that there were slide-offs and stranded vehicles strewn about county roads as a result of Tuesday night’s late winter snowstorm that dumped an estimated six to eight inches of snow throughout the region.
While most municipal streets in the county were considered to be in fairly decent shape, county roads were extremely treacherous from blowing snow and the nature of the heavy wet snow that had blanketed the area.
Snow began falling in earnest late Tuesday afternoon and increased in intensity quickly. Officials at the National Weather Service in North Webster reported that at the peak of the storm, between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m., most areas in northeast Indiana were receiving snow at the rate of an inch or more an hour.
National Weather Service officials said that the storm was the biggest of the winter in intensity and coverage. Snowfall amounts of six to eight inches and isolated higher amounts were reported throughout the region.
The storm forced the cancellation of school for all three systems in the county.
Late last night, Adams County Department of Homeland Security director John August issued a travel advisory for Adams County.
“A travel advisory is the lowest level of travel alerts,” explained August. “Routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation, and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas.”
Around the region, a 21-year-old Whitley County man was killed at 1:30 a.m. this morning while snowmobiling near Columbia City. Also, a major backup occurred on I-69 near the Illinois Road exit in Fort Wayne early last evening due a storm-related accident.
Weather officials had been predicting the strong winter storm for several days. However, it slowed as it approached Indiana Tuesday morning and then broke out in full force late in the afternoon.
Weather specialist Rick McCoy said that the storm had originated in the Northern Plains and moved to the southeast into the Ohio Valley late yesterday afternoon.
“As it passed to our south, it traveled into just the right position through northern Kentucky to hook into an abundance of gulf moisture. The set-up was just perfect for the heavy snow that we received,” said McCoy.
“As is often the case in late winter or early spring, such storms are often characterized by heavy wet snow that makes it extremely slippery on highways and can cause downed power lines and trees,” added McCoy.
The winter blast is going to be short-lived, however, as temperatures are predicted to moderate over the next several days with highs reaching close to 50 degrees with possible rain Sunday and Monday.
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