Hamilton County deals with impact of winter storm

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – Retired firefighter Patrick Thomas was spending his Saturday inside during the winter storm watching games, but it took just moments for the storm to leave its mark.

“All of the sudden I hear this rumbling and shaking,” Thomas said sitting in his Carmel home. “Look out there and the tree had fallen on my porch.”

It’s not the first time it’s happened, Thomas said. This time, it completely destroyed the porch, but that wasn’t his main concern.

“Worrying about Sheila sitting right there,” he said.

Thomas said his friend was sitting outside on the porch when the tree came crashing down, but thankfully, no one was hurt.

It took out his power, but he had a backup generator.

At one point during the day, Hamilton County Emergency Management said there were more than 1,000 people without power.

“Stay home if you can,” the department’s executive director, Shane Booker, said. “Those high wind gusts couple with a light ice accumulation on the power lines is gonna be a concern.”

Drivers worked around the clock salting and plowing. Crews contended with ice, snow, wind causing snow to drift and the impact left on roads.

“We’re prepared, we’re out doing everything we can do,” Carmel spokesman Dan McFeely said.

Carmel expected to have a full city plow Sunday, focusing on main roads first then secondary roads.

“We’re prepared, we’re out doing everything we can do,” McFeely said.

Fishers planned to have a full crew call out overnight. Noblesville said it was dealing with snow drifting on rural and open roads.

The City of Westfield said it planned to call in contractors to help clear neighborhood roads once the snow started to dissipate as crews worked into Saturday evening.

“This forecast has been pretty wild. Our crews were out at midnight last night,” Westfield Mayor Andy Cook said.

The wintry mix left many roads snow covered and slick. A travel watch was issued for Hamilton County and officials asked that people stay off the roads if they can.

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