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