NEWLY UPDATED: Snow emergency declared: Big winter storm hits the county

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
By Nick Schneider Michael Doughtry was busy Wednesday afternoon digging out his vehicle on First Street NE in Linton. The area received more than 10 inches in the last two days.

A snow emergency was declared in Greene County on Wednesday.

Early in the day, traffic was at a near stand-still due to the second wave of a winter storm that socked in much of the county.

Reports from the Greene County Sheriff's Department and reports to the Greene County Daily World showed that many areas of the county had between 8 and 12 inches of snow on the ground.

By Nick Schneider Snow is piled high along Vincennes Street in downtown Linton. The Greene County Commissioners declared a snow emergency on Wednesday. However, the worst of the two-day winter storm has passed and the emergency declaration is expected to be lifted Thursday morning.

The Greene County Courthouse was closed Wednesday and the county schools were also closed.

Greene County Emergency Management Agency Director Roger Axe said he conferred with Greene County Commissioner's President Bart Beard along with Greene County Highway Superintendent Mike Hennette and a snow emergency was declared by the county commissioners.

Axe explained that declaring an emergency does not close any state or county roads, but it serves as an advisory that the roadways are hazardous and urges motorists to stay off of them except in emergency situations.

By Nick Schneider Preston Gambell, shakes off a snowball that was hurled by his sister, Alea Gambell ,at right, on Wednesday afternoon in Linton.

"It's an advisory that people need to stay home if possible," Axe told the Greene County Daily World.

Axe called Tuesday and Wednesday's snowfall the most significant to hit the county since 1996.

Commissioner Beard said late Wednesday afternoon it's likely the snow emergency declaration will be lifted early Thursday morning, providing no significant additional snowfall hits the region.

He also expects the courthouse in Bloomfield to be open on a regular office schedule Thursday after offices closed early on Tuesday and were closed Wednesday.

Beard complimented county road department for working through this emergency and making some progress on the rural roads.

"They have been awfully busy," he noted.

Axe said there have been some scattered power outages in parts of the county, but nothing major.

Axe said he would continue to monitor the weather and road conditions and give updates as needed.

Hennette said a county highway truck had a weather-related mishap about 7:30 a.m. when it rolled into a ditch at the intersection of County Roads 1175 West and 400 North -- in Stockton Township.

No one was hurt and no damage was done to the truck, according to Hennette.

A second mishap involving a county highway department truck happened about 6 p.m. Wednesday on County Road 1250E, south of County Road 325 South near Owensburg. The truck, which was plowing snow slipped into a ditch and needed assistance from a wrecker to get back on the roadway. No injuries were reported.

The road superintendent said plow crews are working as weather conditions will permit.

The road superintendent said the goodwill response from many area farmers has been outstanding. Many have pitched in and are assisting the county highway department with their plowing chores and the help is much appreciated.

"We are really getting a lot of help from our farmers. I really appreciate it. You know, when times get tough you can always depend on the farmers.

"It's going to take a while for us to get to all of the roads. Mother Nature has thrown us a big old curve ball, now we just have to pay the price," he added.

About 3 p.m., Indiana State Police Sgt. Curt Durnil, who serves as public information officer for the Bloomington Post, reported road conditions were improving.

"The sun is out and the snow has subsided. There continues to be situations with respect to current weather and road conditions,"

Throughout the district Durnil reported that state and U.S. highways are still snow/slush covered and slick. Secondary roads (county roads) are snow covered and slick, with deep snow in places.

"Even though the snow has quit falling, people are encouraged to stay off the roadways unless it is an emergency. City, state and county highway crews will need time to get the roadways clear. The fewer vehicles that are on the roadways, the quicker they can get that accomplished," he said.

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  • Everyone should have been prepared for this and have no reason to go out. I do hope for the sake of police,ambulance,fire and wrecker personnel that people will NOT be on the roads today. When people go out in dangerous conditions they are risking alot of lives. So please think twice about going anywhere.. for those that have to be out there, blessings be with you

    -- Posted by shadows on Wed, Jan 28, 2009, at 8:28 AM
  • I had to go out this morning for work. It was much easier to travel since the roads weren't crammed with people that didn't need to be out, so thanks to those that are staying home. To everyone who HAS to get out for work, drive safely! Otherwise, stay home!

    -- Posted by Me2 on Wed, Jan 28, 2009, at 8:55 AM
  • I had to be at work at 7 this a.m. The main roads were snow covered but if you took your time,slowed down and paid attention, it was not bad. Kudos to all the state, county, city highway workers for doing a great job.

    -- Posted by pops2three on Wed, Jan 28, 2009, at 9:03 AM
  • Kudos to the folks on the street department. One favor though, next time would you kindly blow the snow towards my neighbor's drive instead of mine? 8^)

    -- Posted by Mr. F on Wed, Jan 28, 2009, at 1:20 PM
  • Clear a path to Smith Township I am coming to Greene County on Thursday morning,,, gotta go play at the farm.

    -- Posted by gary g on Wed, Jan 28, 2009, at 7:35 PM
  • Some people have to be out because they have to work. It isn't like we are out because we WANT to be. More like, we HAVE to be.

    -- Posted by SMC on Thu, Jan 29, 2009, at 10:56 AM
  • The storm you all got dumped about one and a half inches of ice and sleet here in Oklahoma City before heading your way. On Monday, January 26th at about 11:00am, I nearly went into a four lane road by my house due to the ice. I crippled the Oklahoma City Metro area for three to five days. I'd rather have the snow. The ice storms cripple counties with loss of power like what happened in Kentucky. Several southeastern Oklahoma counties suffered the same as in Kentucky. I've noticed weather moves from where I'm at to your area in about two days. It got to be a demolition derby on Oklahoma highways. Oklahoma Transportation folks did great job clearing the roads here.

    -- Posted by Sporty55 on Wed, Feb 4, 2009, at 12:24 AM
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