Lake effect snow, cold temps grip the area

January 3, 2010 8:43:24 AM PST
A lake-effect snow advisory is in effect in part of the ABC7 viewing area. People in parts of northern Indiana and southwest Michigan could see nearly two feet of snow.A powerful wind was creating a band of heavy lake effect snow, and as Indiana deals with the snow, Chicago area residents are coping with sub zero-wind chills.

Still, the sun was shining in Chicago. Most people walking along Michigan Avenue were bundled up and well prepared for the extreme cold.

The lake effect snows hit hard and fast and forced many in northern Indiana to start digging out.

"We're just trying to keep it shoveled, just trying to keep it down to the minimum for us to get out of the driveway and things like that," said former Chicago area resident Jessica Miller, who was visiting relatives.

Miller managed to get the last steel shovel at Michigan City's Kabelin Ace Hardware where this latest winter blast has cold weather supplies flying of shelves.

"The lake effect snow, we're used to it. We order enough. We have an idea of what we're going to sell," said Rob Lewis Michigan City Kabelin Ace Hardware.

"[ We carry]The snow blowers, shovels, the ice melt , the gloves, the insolated clothing anything for outdoors," said Beth Henn and Michigan City Kabelin Ace Hardware.

Snow fighting plows and salt trucks also hit area thoroughfares hoping to get ahead of the severe winter weather.

"We're just hitting side. How the cars dragging the snow, you know, you hit that and then you salt," said Indiana Dept. of Transportation plow driver Sandra Nowatzke.

Despite those efforts, it was still tough for some to get around in the roughly 3 to 5 inches. Of snow that has already fallen.

"The side roads are bad because it takes a little longer to plow and put salt down," said Al Crosby motorist.

It's expected the lake effect snow fueled by very cold air moving over the warm waters of Lake Michigan will continue in several Indiana counties including Porter and Laporte prompting forecasters to issue several advisories.

But it's the current arctic temperatures and not the snow that has workers at a Goodwill thrift shop concerned.

"Up on the board, you'll notice we have donations are needed, but we also have a lot of people looking for winter coats this time of year. So, it's kind of a difficult thing to maintain," said employee Anthony Carl.

Depending on the area, the worst of the lake effect snow, was expected to be over by sometime Sunday.

Most agree the effects of the cold-snow mix would have been a lot worse had it hit during the work week or a rush hour.