State of emergency declared in Northwest Indiana due to weather

The storms that have buried much of the Midwest in snow is now producing lake effect snow that is burying parts of Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. The conditions have gotten so bad that the state of Indiana has declared a state of emergency.

The announcement came late this afternoon by the State of Indiana Police Department and it has been reported by local media. The counties of LaPorte and Porter Counties, in particular, appear to be in particularly bad shape.

Residents told to stay home

Early on Monday morning the authorities in and around Indiana were telling residents that they should stay home if at all possible. Many roads and through-ways were closed to traffic due to snow, ice and wind.

Just before 6 a.m. local Indiana authorities were reporting at least 40 stranded motorists. Those motorists were rescued by local authorities along areas such as State Road 2 in Indiana State Troopers. Blowing and drifting snow causing white-out conditions were reported along I-65, I-80 and I-94.

In some areas of Indiana motorists were stranded for up to 12 hours. By 4:30 p.m. some roads were still closed. State Road 2 near the city of Lowell and Hebron was still closed. In some areas snow drifts as high as six feet tall were reported.

The weather was created slick conditions on roads that were still open. The high winds were making driving on state roads treacherous. Several feet of snow were already on the ground and the lake effect snow was still falling by Monday afternoon.

The entire Chicago area was hit hard by the storm. Storm damage included the roof the Skyline Stage at Navy Pier being torn off during high winds. Huge waves were also crashing along the shores of Lake Michigan in some areas due to the high winds. The water was then freezing, creating lakes of ice along some roads.