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January 21, 2014

TOUGH SLEDDING: Winter muddles traffic for motorists

Snow, sudden temperature drop causes some difficult commutes

— A cold front passing through the region early Tuesday morning turned a harmless snowfall into a tough commute for Southern Indiana.

Shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday, a cold front caused temperatures to rapidly drop while a snow storm was already in progress, said National Weather Service Hydrologist Mike Callahan.

“We lost 10 degrees here in about one hour, and right now we’re running at about 15 degrees, even though it’s sunny,” Callahan said. “So really, the worst part during the morning was when we had the snowburst that came in here, and we actually had, for a time, visibilities close to zero. We picked up probably, in Jeffersonville, a good three inches [of snow].”

Temperatures are expected to remain low throughout the week, but outside of some flurries on Thursday or Friday, no “significant” snow is expected for the remainder of the week, Callahan said.

“Conditions are going to improve gradually, but the temperatures aren’t really going to go up any,” Callahan said. “We can’t really count on a good, widespread melt. Once the sun goes down, we’re going to drop into the single digits.”

Slick conditions and snow drifts formed by gusty winds were the culprits behind several of the 20 accidents that were reported between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday in Floyd County, according to Floyd County Police Department Maj. Jeff Topping. He said none of the accidents caused injuries, but 10 of the 20 were property-damage accidents, while the other half were slide-offs.

A call to Clark County 911 Administrator Brad Meixell was not returned by press time.

Clark County Operations Manager Jim Ross was unaware of significant amounts of accidents on county-maintained roads Tuesday.

Ross said the county has more than enough salt to deal with future winter storms.

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Jamie Collins, Scottsburg, works on lesson plans in her classroom at Scribner Middle School on Monday afternoon. Collins was the recipient of a $100 gift card to the Your Educational Supply Store from the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. Education Foundation. All first-time teachers in the school system received a gift card to help them set up their classrooms.

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