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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Reese Willson,11, dumps a shovel of snow on her brother Cameron, 10, while their brother Zach, 7, looks to throw a snowball at neighbor Ana Crick (not shown), 10, on Monday morning during a neighborhood snowball fight in the 2000 block of Pemberton Drive.

Fort Wayne sets record for snow

FORT WAYNE – The National Weather Service in northern Indiana says a record snowfall of 2.3 inches was set in Fort Wayne yesterday.

This breaks the old March 24 record of 1.7 inches set in 1912.

The overnight snowstorm that left 7.2 inches of snow in Indianapolis also set a new weather record for the date.

As of 10:30 a.m. Monday, the weather service said, the deepest accumulation of snow in Fort Wayne was 6.5 inches, on the south side.

Fort Wayne and New Haven remain under a winter weather advisory until 5 p.m. today.

One to 2 inches more are forecast this afternoon along and east of Interstate 69, the weather service said. It said drivers might have reduced visibility as the heavy snow band moves east.

Driving conditions in the Indianapolis area improved Monday as its record-setting snowstorm began to wind down, but schools remained closed and police said highways remained deceptively dangerous.

As of noon, a total of 9 inches of snow had fallen on the state capital as the snow swept through central Indiana Sunday and Monday. The snowfall easily surpassed the previous record for those dates, National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Ryan said.

“It is fairly uncommon to get snow like this in March,” Ryan said, though he said lesser amounts weren’t uncommon and flurries could occur as late as early April.

The Indiana Department of Transportation’s Greenfield District east of Indianapolis said it had 175 snowplows on duty Sunday night, and more crews reported at midnight. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard gave nonessential city employees the morning off and told them not to report to work until 1 p.m. to help reduce traffic, but other drivers were on the roads, remained slick.

In Indianapolis and the doughnut counties around it, troopers responded to more than 60 accidents, including nearly 20 with injuries, and dozens of slide-offs. Drivers weren’t slowing down to compensate for the still-icy conditions, state police said.

“It’s all driving too fast, following too close,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Rich Myers said. “People need to slow down for weather conditions, allow a lot more distance between you and the vehicle ahead, and I think we could alleviate a lot of this.”

First Sgt. Tim Kaiser, assistant commander at the Pendleton post, which oversees I-69 and I-70 east of Indianapolis, said the same thing.

“People get up to speed on the wet road, only to come across a section of I-69 that has iced over from the blowing snow,” he said.

State police said road conditions were improving along Interstate 65 near Lafayette after numerous reports of accidents overnight in an eight-county region. Troopers reported responding to 28 crashes, including five with injuries, 58 slide-offs and 12 people calling for help. First Sgt. Greg Dunkle said late Monday morning that the sun was shining and road conditions were good.

The snow was supposed to taper off by mid-afternoon and by lunchtime had already diminished in the western part of the state, National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Koch said. He said the counties just north of I-70 felt the brunt of the storm, while the extreme northern and southern portions of the state got away with a dusting or a couple of inches.

Charles White of The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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