It’s been a crazy week for weather here in Switzerland County.
Mid-week last week brought freezing, sub zero temperatures to the area, with thermometers falling into negative numbers on Wednesday.
The cold temperatures forced many closings and delays, with the Switzerland County School Corporation being closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The first two days were E-learning days, with students doing work from home through their school-issued Chromebooks.
Friday was a regular day lost to weather, and because of that, students will now be going to school on Monday, February 18th. That day — Presidents Day — was supposed to be a day off school, but was designated as a “Possible Make Up Day” by school officials prior to the beginning of the school year. Using the day to make up last Friday keeps the school corporation on track to end the school year as scheduled, May 24th.
Around the Midwest and in other parts of Indiana, post offices halted delivery services last Wednesday due to the frigid temperatures — although the Vevay Post Office remained open and delivering mail. The Switzerland County Courthouse also remained open, but other businesses closed as most people chose to stay inside and warm rather than venturing out.
The arctic temperatures midweek, however, took a drastic shift as the weekend arrived.
After suffering through temperatures in the single digits, the weekend brought unseasonably warm temperatures, with highs reaching the mid 60s on Saturday and the low 70s on Sunday.
With those rising temperatures, the snow and ice from the previous few days began to melt, causing some minor flooding in county back waters and most resident’s lawns to become quite muddy.
Down in the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, high water began to recede — at least temporarily — leaving a layer of mud on park streets and public areas. The pillar sculpture that sits in the Ohio River became a collection point for all sorts of debris to get caught — with everything from old tires to plastic items to large tree trunks and limbs all piling up on the east side of the sculpture.
Temperatures remained warm as the new week began, but the warm trend also brought rain.
The rest of the week calls for dry weather, but also a return to colder temperatures will soon be back.
The high temperature for today (Thursday) is expected to reach 65 degrees; but then the temperatures will begin to fall — with overnight lows around 26 degrees.
The high tomorrow (Friday) is expected to be just 30 degrees, with a low tomorrow night of 18.
Saturday remains clear but cold, with a high of 36 and a low of 25; while Sunday will warm slightly, with the high expected around 44 degrees and a low of 35.
Monday and Tuesday next week will continue to see mild temperatures, with the National Weather Service anticipating highs both days in the upper 40s and low 50s.
The weather may have hampered county residents over the past few weeks, but for the people who work to clear streets and roads at the town, county, and state level — it’s merely a matter of doing their job.
Switzerland County Highway Superintendent Darrell Keith said his crews put in many hours to make sure that county motorists were safe.
When the county’s first winter storm hit, county workers were out clearing the roads for about 12 hours, and were getting some help from sunny weather in melting snow and ice off of the roadways.
The county has a system of color-coded alerts that are designed to protect travelers; and Keith said that when residents hear those warnings issued, simply using common sense will keep everyone safe.
The Switzerland County Highway Department also works closely with School Superintendent Rod Hite and other school officials in helping determine if the schools can use a delay system or if school needs to be called off for the safety of the students and staff.
Keith said that there are 16 workers on the county highway department, and those 16 people stay busy in seasons like this one, clearing and accounting for the 375 miles of county roads.