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Indiana Winter Storm Restricts Travel

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A winter storm blanketed the Elkhart (Indiana) area Wednesday, causing a series of accidents involving cars due to the low visibility and slippery roads.

According to a report, the National Weather Service issued a two-day winter storm advisory from early Wednesday through 6 p.m. today.

Elkhart County on Wednesday was under a Travel Advisory Watch, which means that only travel for essential reasons (to and from work or in the event of an emergency) is suggested, per the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office.

From midnight to 1:20 p.m Wednesday, the Sheriff’s department reported five motorists needing assistance and 17 property damage crashes, and 14 vehicles in ditches.

“Please stay off the roads and safe inside,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

Jessica McBrier, a spokeswoman for the Elkhart Police Department, said officers responded to 19 injury and non-injury incidents and one hit-and-run incident between 4:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

In addition, schools were closed so staff and students could stay at home. COVID-19 testing sites also shut down their operations.

The city of Elkhart also shut down all its facilities to the public. Beacon Health System and other businesses also shut down certain facilities.

Forecasters have predicted a 50% chance of snow accumulation, including areas of drifting and blowing before Thursday evening. The area is likely to receive another snowfall of about an inch.

Forecasters on Friday were mainly predicting clear skies and cold temperatures with a high near 18 degrees and a low near 7.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb urged Hoosiers to be cautious on Wednesday. The Republican governor stated that the multiagency response was in place to deal with this storm and its aftermath, which, he said, could last between three to four days.

Holcomb demanded Hoosiers avoid traveling if they could and use common sense if they go out on the roads. He urged residents not to overdo it when shoveling snow and also to be sure to check on neighbors, mainly if power failures occur.

“We have the resources to weather this storm. What we really need is cooperation. Stay safe,” Holcomb said.

Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness noted that road crews could not prepare roads as much as they would have liked due to the rain that fell just before the snow and ice arrived.

Officials announced that they had confirmed that Indiana National Guard teams would assist the stranded motorists. Still, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter called on Hoosiers to stay off the roads.

Up to one foot of snow was expected to fall late Thursday or early Friday over large portions of the northern half of Indiana. With several inches of snow predicted for central Indiana and moderate to heavy ice accumulations forecast over southern Indiana.

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Modern Campground

Modern Campground

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