By Ken de la Bastide
Spring arrived in Kokomo in the form of a heavy snowfall that dumped between 6 and 11 inches around the city.
Crystal Pettet, a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, said snowfall in the Kokomo area ranged from 6.5 inches east of the city up to 11 inches west of Kokomo.
The National Weather Service website showed a 10-inch snowfall along the Miami, Howard county line; Kokomo received 9 inches; Tipton had an 8-inch total; and 8 to 9 inches were measured in Peru.
Drivers in Howard County proved they hadn’t yet forgotten winter driving caution, as few accidents were reported with no injuries.
Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers said the department responded to five slide-offs and no personal injury crashes through 1 p.m.
“Motorists are slowing down and taking precautions,” Rogers said. “It helped that the schools were closed.”
Rogers said a semi-frozen slush under the snow was a problem on the roads.
“It was a record snowfall for this date in Indianapolis,” Pettet said. “There are no official records for Kokomo.
“We won’t see another 8-inch snowfall this spring,” she said. “I won’t guarantee that we won’t see anymore snowflakes.”
The National Weather Service said wind gusts of 20 to 30 mph overnight Monday would cause snow to blow and drift, mainly on the northeast and southwest roads.
Temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 40s and 50s beginning Friday and lasting through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service forecast.
The Indiana State Police Peru Post troopers were kept busy Sunday night and into Monday morning, Sgt. Kim Riley, the public information officer, said.
Troopers responded to 44 slide-offs and 14 property damage crashes in the Peru district, which includes Fulton, Howard, Cass, Tipton, Grant and Wabash counties.
The Miami County Commissioners declared a “travel status orange,” with only essential travel recommended.
Sheriff Tim Miller said primary and secondary roads throughout the county were snow covered, slick and hazardous.
Howard County Highway Department crews started plowing snow at 10 p.m. Sunday and worked through Monday. Crews were not able to apply salt to the roadways because of the wind.
Eighteen trucks were working to keep roads cleared, but the wind was blowing snow back onto the roadways as fast as it was plowed.
Bret Morris, the highway superintendent for Tipton County, said plowing was started on county roads at 5 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s a light snow on top, and the snow is drifting back across the roads,” Morris said. “The roads are drifting shut as fast as we plow them.”