NW Indiana still digging out from days of snow

December 15, 2010 (LAPORTE, Ind.)

Stranded cars have finally been removed from the sides of roads and highways. But there is still plenty of snow to be removed.

This part of Indiana knows how to handle snow. Even so, the amount of snow over the past couple days has unnerved some area residents.

Leann VanSchoyck shivers at the thought of what coming in to her men's clothing shop was like on Monday.

"It was awful out there, especially the blowing and drifting," said VanSchoyck. "My father called me on my cell phone and said get back home. The wind was so hard that it was drifting across the road."

She says her four-wheel drive vehicle couldn't handle the elements -- a reality that many drivers confronted right up to Wednesday.

The sheriff of LaPorte County says overconfidence behind the wheel led to far too many drivers making avoidable mistakes.

"Sometimes they think they can get through anything, and there's no vehicle, especially with this ice we had underneath, too, as far as traction or sliding, so there's no vehicle that is not going to slide," said Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer.

Ten miles south of, LaPorte, in Westville, the snow piled up to nearly 31 inches.

And further down the road in Wanatah, where US routes 30 and 421 meet, ice created new hazards for motorists early Wednesday morning.

"We had good warning from the radio and TV stations with the news reports, so I think we were somewhat ready, but then again, when it really happens-- boy," said Sheriff Mollenhauer.

Back in LaPorte, those who know the ferocity of lake-effect snow retain some perspective

"I got a little bit of a break except for the snow shovel, because at work it was declared a state of emergency and a lot of people didn't show up at work, so, you know, it was kind of like a day off," said Jonathan Schroeder.

"My dogs love it. I take my dogs out, my three hound dogs and they cut through it, so if they can do it, I can do it," said Jim Trinkle.

And VanSchoyck says it can actually be a good thing.

"It's been good. It keeps people in town. It's been really good. It's cold, but you know-- Indiana," said VanSchoyck.

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