News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 28, 2009

Valley residents keep busy after snowfall

TERRE HAUTE — The biggest single snowfall in years had many Terre Haute residents shoveling driveways, pushing cars buried up to their axles in snow and sledding in bright sunshine Wednesday.

Some side streets required four-wheel drive to navigate and even some main roads remained completely covered by snow Wednesday afternoon.

“I really enjoy it,” said Don Albert of North 35th Street on Terre Haute’s east side. Albert, a native of Michigan armed with a gas-powered snow blower, was clearing his drive and the driveways of some of his neighbors. “This is nice.”

Others weren’t enjoying the day quite as much. Several cars became stuck in the snow while their drivers tried to enter streets or leave their homes.

Chris Gouckenour and Gary Jones, both students at Honey Creek Middle School, were out walking Wednesday morning with snow shovels looking for driveways to clear. Before they could get their first job, however, they helped free a woman whose car had gotten stuck in the parking lot of Tony’s Cafe in Youngstown, south of Terre Haute.

“She was starting to pull out and she got stuck,” Gouckenour said. It took about 10 minutes to free her from the approximately 12-inch-deep snow, he said.

Business at Tony’s was slow Wednesday morning, said Nuggie Babb, who owns the restaurant and mini-mart with husband, Tony. Many people could not get out of their driveways and the restaurant was having trouble finding an available snowplow service, she said.

“Everybody’s busy,” Nuggie Babb said. Several minutes later, a customer, who overheard the Babb’s difficulty, said he had found them an available plow that could be at the restaurant in about an hour.

“When you own a small business, it’s your livelihood, so you hate big snowfalls,” she said.

This was as much snow as the Terre Haute area has received in many years. Many recalled the blizzard of 1978, saying it was far worse then, however.

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