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Winter woes continue; some schools closed

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Updated: April 14, 2014 10:54AM



Power outages appeared to be the biggest problem from Northwest Indiana’s latest snowstorm, with a downed power line closing off a section of Porter County Road 700N on Wednesday.

Porter County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Larry LaFlower said the road was closed between Willowcreek Road in Portage and County Road 500W shortly before 10 a.m. after a utility pole was discovered with low-hanging wires.

The county reopened a U.S. 6 overpass, however, that had been closed earlier because of ice.

“Nobody could get up the hill,” he said.

Power was restored to all but several hundred homes in the region by Wednesday afternoon, according to information from NIPSCO. The company reported several thousand homes without power Wednesday morning, with the most — just more than 2,000 — in Valparaiso.

NIPSCO spokesman Nick Meyer said the company was able to bring that number down throughout the day.

“Every storm is unique, and this one we’re seeing a lot of heavy, wet snow that’s weighed down trees,” he said, which in turn weighed down the power lines.

Meyer said ice did not appear to be a problem for the lines, however.

The company’s website showed Portage having the most outages in the region with 277 as of Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service reported that the northern portions of Lake and Porter counties saw about 5 inches of snow from the overnight storm, with about 3 inches in Jasper and Newton counties.

In addition to the heavy snow, wind was a factor in Wednesday’s weather challenges. Hobart Police responded to 61st Avenue west of Liverpool Road where a passerby noticed that all the mailboxes along the road were open and “residents’ mail was blowing all over the street,” a dispatcher said.

Wind speeds of 20 to 30 mph were reported.

Both Lake and Porter county police reported that some vehicles had slid off the road but no major accidents. Indiana State Police also said there were no major accidents and that the roads started clearing up around 10 a.m.

Most school districts in Northwest Indiana closed for the day, and several others were on a two-hour delay.

The forecast called for partly sunny skies Thursday with a high near 30.



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