Columnists

Winter Storm Slams Hamilton County

A massive 2,000-mile snow storm has swept across the great plains and is now moving into the Midwest, covering everything in its path with snow and ice.

The National Weather Service is predicting that snow accumulation will top out between four and seven inches tonight. Temperatures will continue to drop into the teens over the next two days, with gusting winds and cloud cover expected on Friday before clearing up into a crisp but sunny Saturday with highs in the low 20’s.

Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt commented on the county’s preparations, saying, “I helped coordinate with Duke Energy to give them a place to gather, stay warm, and use the restroom as they are going out to respond to power outages.” He also reiterated the need for people to exercise caution, commenting that, “There’s a lot of ice out here. I tell everybody to be really careful, we’re currently in orange (the NWS’s color-rating system for storm severity) and we could move into the red as the snow keeps coming down.”

Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen confirmed the city has been working extensively to monitor conditions during the storm, saying, “I was out this morning for about an hour checking out the roads and conditions.” As for what the city had to say to its citizens, Mayor Jensen was adamant, saying, “The key right now is if you don’t absolutely need to be on the roads, then stay home.” He also emphasized that people, “should try to check on their neighbors, make sure they have food and power and that they’re doing okay.” In the event of any emergencies, people are urged to call 911 right away so first responders can get there as quickly as possible.

The City of Westfield has been in constant contact with the street superintendent, who is constantly monitoring the road conditions in the city. They are urging citizens with concerns about road conditions to visit the City of Noblesville Facebook page, where updates are coming from the street superintendent every couple of hours.

Mark LaBarr, Community Relations Manager for Duke Energy in Hamilton County, made clear that the weather has yet to have a major impact on power lines or electricity. He commented that, “Things are kind of quiet right now, there is one single isolated outage with one customer but that’s it.” Duke Energy has been working with Hamilton County to ensure customers have access to speedy and reliable service in the event of more extensive outages, with LaBarr saying, “We’re bringing in 60 contractors, so I was working with Commissioner Heirbrandt and the county was nice enough to let us use the fairgrounds as a staging area. He went on to say that Duke Energy was, “very grateful for our relationship with the County.”