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NW Indiana Prepares For ‘Lake Effect’ Snow Wallop

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A snow plow is ready for action in Hammond, Ind. (CBS)

A snow plow is ready for action in Hammond, Ind. (CBS)

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HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) – People in Northwest Indiana are also bracing for this week’s blizzard. They could end up bearing the brunt of the storm, because of the “lake effect.”

State and local officials aren’t taking any chances given what’s being predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday, CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.

It was the calm before the storm Monday at Hammond’s Public Works Department as city crews prepared for what’s ahead.

Like many cities in Northwest Indiana, Hammond’s entire snow-fighting fleet was ready to go. Trucks were loaded with salt and plows were mounted on every vehicle that could handle one, even personal trucks.

“I actually drive a Blazer … and it has a plow on it.  I’ll be plowing with the guys through the whole thing,” Hammond Streets Commissioner Gary Gleason said.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott says it’s necessary given the amount of snow they’re expecting.

“We’re planning for the worst, and if it turns out better than that, great.  If not, we’re ready for it,” McDermott said.

Street crews have been told to prepare for 24-hour duty, working 12-hour shifts.

“As soon as that snow starts, we’ll be putting salt down like crazy,” Gleason said. “Once the snow gets real heavy, we’ll shut the salt off.  Just plow, plow, plow until it’s done. And then time to clean up.”

Hammond city worker Juan Serrano anticipates things are going to be “real ugly.”

Many residents were also preparing.

Diana Illyas was purchasing water, milk, pizza and soup makings to cover at least four days.

In anticipation of the blizzard, Indiana State Police has canceled days off for Tuesday and Wednesday so that all available troopers will be on hand work the roadways.

As for those roadways, INDOT says it’s full fleet of more than 170-snow fighting trucks and plows will be working around the clock to keep things as safe as possible. They’re of course urging people not to drive and if they do, to drive slowly and allow extra space between their vehicle and others.

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