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December 7, 2013

Southern Indiana slides by with only minor problems

Public safety officials said there were no major injuries during winter storm Friday

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Area public safety officials report that the Southern Indiana motorists got through Friday’s ice and snow storm largely unscathed.

No serious injuries were reported by the emergency response agencies that serve Clark and Floyd counties during the bout of inclement weather.

There was, however, an increase in weather-related automobile accidents, which were primarily slide-offs and minor collisions.

The Indiana State Police reported a total of 150 calls due to the weather from 12:01 a.m. Friday to Saturday evening.

ISP Cpl. Steve Didat said those calls consisted of 38 slide offs; 30 property damage automobile crashes; and six person-injury crashes, all of which resulted in only minor injuries.

Didat said the additional calls received by ISP weren’t as significant as the sheer numbers, because some of those were made by people who had gotten their vehicles stuck but did not require an official report.

He said the majority of the calls made by ISP were along the area’s busiest thoroughfares: Interstate 65, Interstate 64 and Interstate 265.

Floyd County Sheriff's Maj. Jeff Topping, said the agency responded to 62 weather-

related accidents between 10 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. He said only one of the vehicle accidents resulted in a motorist receiving hospitalization.

He said six of the 62 accidents involved multiple vehicles, but said the majority of the calls were automobiles sliding from the county's roadways.

Topping said the FCSD responded to the dangerous weather conditions my calling in

reserve officers Friday.

Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden said Saturday afternoon that his agency had virtually no reports stemming from the storm.

He said some four-by-four vehicles were deployed Friday, but only to motorist sliding from roadways.

“Most people ended up staying home and later into the night, everything really slowed down,” Rodden said.

Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer also reported few significant calls resulting from the weather, saying he attributed that to the work of the town’s workers.

“The street department was on top of it and ready for the onslaught of the weather,”

Palmer said.

He said street department crews made multiple responses throughout the city Friday, which prevented any possible serious problems on the town’s roadways.

Like Palmer, Jeffersonville’s Corporation Attorney Les Merkley applauded the efforts of city workers to keep the streets safe and clear.

“Our city crews did a fantastic job,” Merkley said. “Their hard work made the difference. Those guys work hard in tough conditions.”

Merkley reported that Jeffersonville motorists fared well throughout the dangerous

weather.

“Considering the snow and ice, it went very well,” he said.

Merkley said crews worked about 15 hours straight until about 5 a.m. Saturday.

He said the city used all of its 12 trucks to clear roads.

The city workers were tasked with clearing nearly 260 miles of roadways and virtually all Jeffersonville streets were treated, he said.

“As it was coming down, there were some problems. The storm, at it strongest point, was during [afternoon] rush hour traffic, which made it more difficult for citizens and city employees,” he said.

He reported no significant injuries, but a number of slide-offs and minor collisions, most of which occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.  

Indiana Department of Transportation public affairs official Harry Maginity said state officials deployed more than 30 trucks to clear roads in its Falls City subdistrict, which includes Clark and Floyd Counties.

He said the subdistrict had a “full call out” from Friday to about 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

"Given the weather, I think they have responded well," Maginity said.

He added that road conditions resulted in his round trip from Indianapolis to Louisville Friday evening taking more than eight hours.

"That is usually a two-hour and 15-minute trip," he said.

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Shelbe Dorman, right, and Taylor Wirth hug following their 2013 commencement ceremony at New Albany High School.

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