News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 5, 2014

Here we snow again: More winter weather hits the Wabash Valley

Schools canceled, police busy as another storm arrives

TERRE HAUTE — Police and rescue workers were busy Tuesday night responding to crashes and slide-offs in the wake of another big snowfall in the Wabash Valley.

The snow started falling in Terre Haute about 4 p.m., and by 6:30 p.m. more than four inches of powdery snow had fallen downtown. Several more inches were expected by this morning.

Early Tuesday evening, emergency management officials placed Vigo County under a travel “watch,” meaning conditions were threatening to public safety and only essential driving, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, was recommended.

Travel watches were also declared Tuesday evening in Parke and Putnam counties, and travel advisories were in place in Clay, Vermillion, Sullivan and Greene counties.

Vigo County Sheriff’s deputies reported extremely hazardous road conditions Tuesday afternoon and evening. The county’s 911 system received calls for approximately 20 crashes or slide-offs between 4 and 6 p.m. More slide-offs and crashes took place later in the evening, although there was little traffic in most places around the city as motorists seemed to be staying off the roads.

Vigo County School Corp. officials announced at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday that schools would be closed today.

Vigo County Sheriff’s deputies also were attempting to handle routine matters over the telephone as opposed to making trips to homes, chief deputy Clark Cottom said. That did not include emergency or accident calls, he said. Additional days off for sheriff’s deputies were suspended until conditions improve, Cottom said.

Sgt. Joe Watts of the Indiana State Police said calls to the Putnamville Post — which oversees Vigo and surrounding counties — were moderate as of about 8 p.m. Interstate 70 remained open with trouble spots at a few exits and on-ramps, such as at Indiana 46 and U.S. 41. A few slide-offs took place on the ramps, and traffic on the interstate was slow but moving, Watts said.

In Parke County, sheriff’s deputies and Indiana State Police assisted as vehicles, especially large trucks, had difficulty climbing Dailey Hill about two miles north of Lyford, Watts said. Vehicles slowed for a curve at the base of the hill and then had difficulty gaining enough momentum to climb the hill, he said. Traffic had to be diverted through Clinton on and off during those operations, Watts said.

Heavier snowfalls appeared to be north of Vigo County in Parke and Vermillion counties, Watts said. The State Police had responded to no calls in Sullivan County as of about 8 p.m., he said.

The Illinois State Police issued a travel advisory for District 10, which includes Edgar County. Roadways were snow covered and slick with visibility reduced due to blowing snow, the Illinois State Police reported. They also reported several slide-offs in the area.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com

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