Lake-effect snow causes dangerous driving conditions across LaPorte County
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (WLS) -- Since Friday, the snow has been nonstop in Michigan City, Indiana, with several inches of lake-effect snow falling each hour at one point.
The good news on Sunday morning is that the travel warning has been lifted for LaPorte County Indiana.
Weather reports came in with snow totals reaching 36 inches of snow. Snow plow companies worked through the night for days to try and keep up.
Trail Creek - 36 inches
Michigan City - 35 inches
Pinola - 32 inches
Springville - 30.5 inches
La Porte - 28 inches
Waterford - 27 inches
Kingsford Heights - 25 inches
Running on utter exhaustion, snow plower Dave Westphal worked through the night to plow snow for residents and businesses.
"I've been out three days with no sleep," Westphal said. "I'm at people's beck and call because number one they have to get out. I cater to the elderly."
ABC7 spoke with the mayor of Michigan City, who said every plow they had was on the road to try and keep the streets as clear as they could, considering how fast the snow was coming down.
Michigan City Mayor Angie Nelson Deutch declared a snow emergency on Friday, which ended Saturday afternoon, but she urged residents to stay indoors Saturday night as roads were to be cleared overnight.
Residents of Michigan City can leave can call 219-873-1500 and leave a voicemail for any snow emergency.
"Public safety is of paramount concern during this snow event," Deuitch said. "We ask everyone to stay off the roads, if you can avoid it, until the emergency status has been liked. We will continue to monitor the weather and reassess throughout the day; but until we make that call, we've got crews out working to clear the streets."
Although it is chilly on Sunday, warmer weather is on the way which will help melt some of the large snow piles.
Michigan City was desolate and unforgiving Friday night and Saturday morning, but one lone business braved the elements to open up shop.
"I was not expecting all this snow," LakeShore Cafe manager Gabriella Retseck said. "I was not expecting to shovel myself out this morning."
On a blustery and frigid morning, an arctic snowscape has brought the tiny city to a near halt all except for the LakeShore Cafe on Wabash Street, opening its door for its customers when few shops in town could.
The snow storm has negatively affected businesses in the area due to less foot traffic amid travel restrictions.
"It affected us pretty bad," Retseck said. "I counted, we only had 25 transactions yesterday. That was not a normal day whatsoever."
Retseck worked solo to keep the coffee brewing amidst the multiple feet of snow that had fallen outside. Customers at the café were grateful.
"It's just kind of a vibe on a Saturday morning, just to come here, my journal, do some work," customer Jay Ollero said. "It's nice to not be stuck in a room and to be able to come out have some normalcy when there's so much inconvenience and disruption."
Meanwhile, a Wind Chill Advisory was in effect for Chicago's western suburbs from midnight through 10 a.m. Sunday.
Chicago has activated its warming centers.
The centers open when temperatures are 32 degrees. They are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Warming centers in Cook County will be open 24/7 through next Monday.
Warming centers in other Chicago-area counties: