Wintertime blues

After a week of some heavy snowfall, subzero temperatures and the ensuing cancellation of classes, Mother Nature decided she wasn’t quite finished with winter.

Another winter storm hit southern Indiana late Friday evening, and Jackson County residents woke up Saturday morning to find from 3 to 7 inches of snow on the ground.

That snowfall was followed by a light drizzle of sleet, some rain and then heavy snow again several times Saturday afternoon.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

The mix created another round of poor road con-ditions for anyone willing to venture out.

The winter storm followed one earlier in the week that dumped as much as six inches of snow on the county and that was followed by bitter cold — forcing schools to close all week.

The weather conditions also led to the cancellation of many high school sporting events and Ash Wednesday services. Some local businesses closed at times as well.

“I’m about tired of the snow,” said Jackson County Highway Superintendent Warren Martin on Saturday with a laugh.

His department crews were out “full force” on the 738 miles of county roads, beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday.

They were planning on putting in a 12-hour day to help clear the white-blanketed roads.

“It appears there’s pretty much four inches of snow from end of the county to the other,” he said Saturday morning.

Martin said in addition to about 15 snow plows dispersed throughout the county, the department was relying on two road graders, which have six-wheel drive to help with steep hills. He said they don’t always get the road graders out but they were needed for Saturday’s conditions.

With a slight increase in temperatures over the weekend in comparison to temperatures below zero Thursday and Friday — Martin said he was expecting road conditions to improve greatly.

“Everything is warming up, and the chemicals we’re putting down are working good,” he said. Salt and the brine mixture the county and state applies before winter storms doesn’t work well when temperatures fall near below 18 or so degrees.

As for salt and sand supplies, he said the county is still in good shape and that’s not an issue.

On Saturday morning, Sheriff Michael Carothers said there were a few vehicle slide-offs but nothing had been reported that was too serious.

As for his officers, Carothers said when there are heavy snow conditions, they try to switch the four-wheel drive units such as the department’s Ford Expeditions and Tahoes. That way, they can maneuver on county roads much better than their patrol cars, he said.

Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott said by late Saturday morning, his officers hadn’t worked any bad accidents either, but he was noticing the dispatch center remained busy with calls from people with questions about road conditions.

He also said area residents had started to venture out onto the roads Saturday morning when some snow-ridden areas were transforming into slush.

“Everyone is getting out due to cabin fever,” Abbott said. “Everyone just needs to make sure they take their time.”

He said many motorists see to have made the decision to slow down when the bad weather has pummeled roadways.

“We want to thank everybody for driving with caution,” Abbott said. “Overall these last couple of snows we haven’t had to work many accidents weather-related. I think they’ve done a good job.”