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Cities Begin to Dig Out of Storm

People and traffic began to move this Tuesday across northeast Indiana. But the region is still buried under a foot of snow and abnormally frigid temperatures. WFFT was down in Bluffton today finding out how these smaller cities like that one are digging their way out. And as you can see around the area there's still a lot of work to be done.
"The roads are as good as they're going to get until the temperature gets above twenty degrees. All of the road chemicals we've put down just don't work when it gets down to single digits.” Bluffton Mayor Ted Ellis.
People and traffic began to move this Tuesday across northeast Indiana.

But the region is still buried under a foot of snow and abnormally frigid temperatures.

WFFT was down in Bluffton today finding out how these smaller cities like that one are digging their way out.

And as you can see around the area there's still a lot of work to be done.

It's even tougher for some of our surrounding cities to get moving again.

But people down in Bluffton say it's all they can do.

Like most of Bluffton, Rich Phister is digging his way Tuesday afternoon from the biggest storm to hit the area in years.

"We just kind of hunkered down here. I've been blessed, I've been able to work out of my home still, so it hasn't affected us too much,” Phister says.

Phister and his wife homeschool their kids, but even they had the day off.

"Well, they did get a snow day yesterday. Mom called the day off,” Phister says.

The rest of the Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District remains closed through Wednesday.

"The roads are certainly a factor in that, but these cold temperatures, we've not experienced really, at least during my time as superintendent,” says schools superintendent Wayne Barker.

Mayor Ted Ellis declared a snow emergency through Monday, shutting down the city.

Schools and businesses were closed, emptying the roads long enough for road crews to clear them off.

"Local businesses like to say open, and it does cost them anytime we close the town down. But at this point, they weren't going to have many customers anyway when we declared the snow emergency,” Ellis says.

Ellis says the roads are drivable today, but still snow covered, and slick.

"The roads are as good as they're going to get until the temperature gets above twenty degrees. All of the road chemicals we've put down just don't work when it gets down to single digits,” Ellis says.

Ellis says one of the city's electric substations was down briefly Monday and Indiana Michigan power has asked residents to limit electricity use during peak hours from three to seven in the afternoon and evening on Wednesday.

Ellis says as it starts to warm up over the next few days city crews are preparing for frozen pipes bursting across the city.

And Barker says he's hoping for a waiver from the Indiana Department of Education to not have to make up the missed school days.

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