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Winter Storm Closes NWI Interstates, South Shore Line

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(STMW) – The Indiana Department of Transportation has closed Interstate 94, both eastbound and westbound, between the Illinois state line and the U.S. 421 exit at Michigan City, and Interstate 65, both northbound and southbound, between U.S. 12/20 in Gary and mile marker 172 in Lafayette.

Meanwhile, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District has cancelled all service for Monday on the South Shore Line.

“The interstates are closed to all traffic due to severe winter weather that has made some areas and ramps impassable,” INDOT announced. “There is no timeframe for when these roadways will reopen.”

A full call-out of INDOT plow crews remain on the roads, INDOT said, but conditions are so severe that crews cannot stay ahead of the storm.

Lake and Porter county governments have declared states of emergency on roads and have told residents to stay where they are.

“Obviously we’re experiencing very, very hazardous roads, particularly on the east-west county roads,” said Sgt. Larry LaFlower of the Porter County Sheriff’s Police. “As the day has gone on, the snow and wind have picked up and we’ve had lots of problems. Everybody just needs to stay home; we’re barely getting around in our 4×4 and all-wheel-drive vehicles as it is.”

According to the Lake County sheriff’s office, “only emergency vehicles, law enforcement, medical and highway department vehicles are to be on the roads.”

Jasper County has also announced a state of emergency.

The snow, wind and sinking temperatures have challenged motorists and homeowners Sunday during an intense bout of winter weather that one meteorologist said will turn Chicago into “ChiBeria.”

A winter storm warning remains in effect until midnight in Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties, and a blizzard warning is in effect in LaPorte County until 6 a.m. Monday.

A press release from the Indiana State Police said troopers responded to 84 emergency calls between 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday. Calls, continuing through daytime Sunday, consisted of assisting motorists, slide-offs, property damage and personal injury crashes, the release said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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