Major drifting follows Saturday’s heavy snowstorm

Authored by Jim Langham on Dec 16, 2013

The season’s first heavy snowstorm left county crews dealing with more than the six to eight inches of snow that fell across Adams County on Saturday.
The National Weather Service officially confirmed that eight inches of snow had fallen in Decatur and 8.3 inches in Bluffton, with somewhat lesser amounts to the south.
A report from the Geneva area indicated nearly six inches there while snow amounts tapered to four to five inches in southern Jay County.
But for the majority of Adams County residents, the heavy storm left residents digging out for most of the day on Saturday.
A dispatcher from the Adams County Sheriff Department late Sunday evening said there had been a couple of accidents and several slide-offs reported as a result of the storm. However, thankfully, at that time, no personal injuries had been reported.
The worst culprit, said Adams County EMA director John August, was the 30 miles per hour gusty winds that kicked up for most of Sunday. August said that the winds had generated a considerable amount of drifting on county roads, especially north-south roads.
August said that county officials were going to go to the roads on a widespread basis at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, the pull off the roads for a period of time before making an intense attempt to clear and open roads early this morning.
“It doesn’t do a lot to keep trucks rolling when the roads keep blowing shut behind them,” said August. “It’s more effective to have a widespread plow and then attack roads more aggressively early in the morning before the morning rush hour.”
The storm, which originated once again in the southwest, began spreading more significant snow into the area overnight on Friday. After a brief recess on Saturday morning, the storm began dumping snow in heavy proportions late Saturday morning until late in the afternoon. There were periods during that time when snowfall was reported at a rate of one to two inches an hour.
Weather specialist Rick McCoy said there could be a brief break from the intense cold Thursday and Friday, with the possibility of highs in the 40s with rain on Friday. However, that break will be short-lived, said McCoy, with another strong cold front dropping into the area Friday night and into the weekend, possibly generating the possibility of more snow.
“Right now the computer models are trying to kick out another major snowstorm, similar to this one, for Dec. 23 or 24,” said McCoy. “Of course that is too far into the distance to give much credibility.”
One thing McCoy is certain of, there is still plenty of Arctic air waiting in the wings over northern Canada to dive into the United States.
“It appears that we are off to the start of a pretty solid winter,” said McCoy. “Of course, patterns could always change.”
August, in the meantime, warned Adams County residents to take this storm as a harbinger of other potential storms this winter.
“If you haven’t already done so, now is definitely the time to get those winter kits in your cars and get your cars and homes winterized,” said August. “It’s not even officially winter yet and look at what’s happening. Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call to those county residents who haven’t prepared for winter in their cars and in their homes.”


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