Lebanon Reporter

January 6, 2014

Officials advise residents to stay safe by staying home

By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor

Boone County —

Deceptive sunshine lured some storm-weary Lebanon residents out of their homes Monday, only for them to discover the city had essentially been shut down by the heaviest snowfall since the Blizzard of 1978.

By 11:38 a.m. Monday, 14 inches of snow had fallen in Lebanon, the second-highest amount in Indiana, the National Weather Service said.

"People just need to stay home," Lebanon Police Lt. Brent Wheat said late Monday morning.

Very few businesses were open Monday, he said. "Gas stations and grocery stores are pretty much it," he said. Lebanon's Walmart was closed; so was the McDonald's on West South Street. "I don't remember McDonald's closing the last three or four years," he said.

A brief power outage affected some areas of Lebanon

By 1:40 p.m. Sunday, street conditions were so bad that LPD units were parking their Crown Victoria and Dodge Charger cruisers and transferring to 4x4 SUVs and pickups, including vehicles borrowed from the Lebanon Parks Department.

"Just because a road might look clear doesn't mean it's passable," Wheat said. "There are several places where vehicles are blocking the road."

 "There are places I've been where there is absolutely no way a passenger car can get through," Wheat said.

Boone County was under a level III snow emergency through 2 p.m. Monday, which meant only emergency travel was permitted. Some drivers either did not know of the warning or ignored it, however.

"The biggest problem we have now is trucks trying to get into the business park," he said. Roads there were blocked by semi-trucks that had either broken down or become stuck, causing traffic bottlenecks.

Semis were being directed to area truck stops, but their lots were beginning to overflow, Wheat said.

No shelters were open in Lebanon "that I'm aware of," Wheat said. A shelter was opened Sunday by The American Red Cross at Traders Point Christian Church in Whitestown.

A wind chill warning was in effect for Boone County through 7 p.m. today, the National Weather Service said.

Lebanon, Western Boone and Zionsville schools canceled classes for today.