Winter storm pummels county closing offices, schools, businesses


It began late last week and blasted portions of Switzerland County; and just as residents were digging out, another winter storm struck the county on Monday night, closing county schools on Tuesday and Wednesday (and possibly longer, as of press time); and other governmental offices were also closed, along with county businesses.

In a directive emailed on Wednesday morning by George Adams of Switzerland County Emergency Management, it was stated that the county was under an “Orange Level 2”, which means that the conditions were threatening to the safety of the public.

George Adams stated that all county and state roads were snow covered and extremely slick, and that a few slide offs had been reported. He also noted that county and state highway departments were out working on the roads, trying to keep drifts from blocking the roadways.

An “Orange Level 2” status means that only essential travel is recommended; such as two and from work and emergency situations. It was noted that: “…Emergency action plans have been or should now be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.”

The Switzerland County Courthouse and other government offices were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday because of the storm.

Approximately eight inches of snow fell on the county since Monday night, and much of that was drifting due to strong winds on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The county officially went to “Orange Level 2” at approximately 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The Versailles Post of the Indiana State Police was also asking drivers to limit themselves to necessary travel only, as nearly every roadway in Southeastern Indiana was slick and/or snow and ice covered.

The post said that citizens can get statewide road and weather conditions by calling 1-800-261-7623.

The National Weather Service continued to keep Switzerland County under a Winter Storm Warning through 6 p.m. last (Wednesday) night; saying that the county could get as much as an additional inch of snow; with winds blowing with gusts up to 35-miles per hour.

Adding to the problem is the cold temperatures that have settled on the area. With temperatures in the teens, there is little time for the snow and ice to melt – and if it does, it simply refreezes during the night.

The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 29 tomorrow (Friday) with a low of 15; then a high of 34 and a low of 19 on Saturday.

The high for Sunday is predicted to be 32, but there is also a 60-percent chance of snow showers on Sunday, which could add even more problems for county officials. That snow could continue on into Monday; with the first chance of sunshine being predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

Before more snow returns Thursday and Friday.