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Winter storm: Heavy snow to be followed by arctic blast

A van rests median Thursday Jan. 2 2014 facing north southbound lanes Interstate 65 US 231 Crown Point. The IndianState

A van rests in the median Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, facing north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 65 at US 231 in Crown Point. The Indiana State Police said troopers were reporting numerous slide-offs on local interstates. | Photo from INDOT's TrafficWise.org

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Updated: February 4, 2014 6:19AM



Northwest Indiana entered 2014 with its heaviest snowfall of the season and a blast of subzero temperatures forecast for early next week.

Parts of Lake County were expected to see 8 to 10 inches of snow by the end of Thursday, before high temperatures drop to below zero early next week, according to the National Weather Service.

LaPorte County police said a Griffith man was killed Wednesday as the treacherous winter weather arrived in Northwest Indiana.

John Kallok, 36, died when his pickup truck slid into the path of a charter bus on U.S. 20 near Rolling Prairie, according to police.

Police said the crash happened Wednesday afternoon along snowy U.S. 20 when the truck went out of control and slid into the path of the bus, which was carrying about 50 people from the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Mich., to Mishawaka.

Police said 15 bus passengers were hurt in the crash. County Coroner John Sullivan said Kallok died at the scene from blunt force trauma.

Area police asked drivers to use caution as officers dealt with multiple minor crashes and slide-offs during the day Thursday.

Purdue University Calumet closed its campus in Hammond at noon Thursday. The college will resume regular hours Friday.

As the snow ends, more winter weather will set in.

“Obviously, right now the snow’s the big story,” Amy Seeley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said. “As we traverse into Monday and Tuesday, it will switch to very cold weather.”

That would be as cold as high temperatures below zero. Seeley said the area has a good chance to break some weather records.

In some better news, although there will continue to be some snow in the next few days, she said, the area will see some breaks. Also, Seeley said ice and wind will likely not be factors.

Across the state line, the storm that arrived on New Year’s Eve dropped 9.2 inches of snow at O’Hare International Airport by noon Thursday and 10.9 inches at Midway International Airport, according to the National Weather Service.

In southwest Indiana, Greene County Emergency Management director Roger Axe said the 12 inches of snow that fell Wednesday left local roads so mired the county’s sheriff was stuck about an hour before his car was freed.

Axe said he expects road crews to finish up Friday clearing county roads of the region’s heaviest snowfall since a March 1996 storm dumped 22 inches of snow. But he said it may take residents longer to finish clearing their driveways.

“We’re just digging out, slow but sure,” Axe said.

In Indianapolis, where the storm’s 7.5-inch snowfall was the deepest in nearly four years, officials hired 350 private snow-removal trucks to help clear 4,000 miles of residential roads. City crews cleared nearly another 7,000 miles of streets, Department of Public Works spokeswoman Lesley Malone said.

Gov. Mike Pence released a statement Thursday afternoon urging the entire state to limit travel.

“Winter storms like this one make travel a challenge for all our citizens,” Pence said. “As winter weather continues throughout much of the state, we also encourage drivers in affected areas to stay safe by avoiding unnecessary travel and making way for plow trucks and crews on the road.”

The Associated Press and Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report.



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