Zionsville Times Sentinel

January 8, 2014

Snow and cold grip county


Zionsville Times Sentinel

---- — Staff reportSub-zero temperatures that drove most of Boone County’s residents into their homes – or, for the unlucky, shelters – should moderate this week as temperatures are predicted to rise well above freezing this weekend.

Zionsville Street Superintendent Lance Lantz said he isn’t concerned about flooding because the snow will melt gradually.“It’s very unlikely any drains are frozen,” Lantz said. “Everything should function properly once the temperatures rise.”The weekend storm buried the county under 14 inches of snow (as measured in Lebanon), the second-highest amount in Indiana, and just 1.1 inches less than the historic and crippling Blizzard of 1978.A Level III snow emergency was extended through at least noon Tuesday by the Boone County Commissioners. The warning means civilians may travel only for emergency reasons.

All three school systems were closed Monday and Tuesday, as were county and municipal offices.

As the temperatures begin to plummet and travel was most treacherous Sunday, Jan. 5, as law enforcement and emergency workers in Boone County responded to numerous calls, including a tree smashing into a Zionsville home, and a woman in labor in Lebanon.

At 9:45 p.m., Zionsville Fire Department was sent to the 4400 block of Thicket Trace in Zionsville and a tree fell on a house, shattering the front window. No injuries were reported.

Then, just after 10 p.m., Whitestown Utilities blocked off Main Street after power lines fell into the street. Duke Energy responded to repair those lines. At 10:33 p.m. dispatch received a report of a vehicle that was buried with people inside in the 4400 block of East County Road 650 South in Whitestown.

At 11:10 p.m. Boone County EMS and Lebanon Fire Department was called to a home in the 200 block of West Lakeshore Drive where a woman who was 39 weeks pregnant was in labor with contractions 3 to 5 minutes apart. Witham Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Tammy Rabe confirmed Monday that mother and baby boy were doing well.

Overall, from midnight Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday, county, city and town agencies responded to 136 slide-off accidents and 28 property damage accidents.A Red Cross emergency shelter was activated at Traders Point Christian Church in Whitestown at 5 p.m. Sunday. Rob Nance, facilities director at TPCC, received a call from the Red Cross, letting them know they were being activated as a shelter for stranded motorists or residents without power. Around five TPCC volunteers came to help, and the Red Cross in Indianapolis sent two more people. Members of TPCC’s food team were activated to help provide food, and the Red Cross supplied cots and blankets that were set up in the church’s gym.“There were a couple of people who ended up staying all night because they’d been stranded,” Nance said. “We were able to accommodate them. For as bad as the storm was, fortunately only a couple of people had to stay overnight.”Nance said the church is in a good location for stranded motorists, like the two who stayed at the shelter, due to its location right off Interstate 65. There were no people who came to the shelter due to power outages, he said.

The last time TPCC was activated as an emergency shelter was last winter during a storm, Nance said.“We have around 40 or 50 people on our volunteer list all trained to work in a shelter,” Nance said. “So if, God forbid, a really terrible disaster came, we have the means to help quite a few people in a situation like that.”