Plow drivers work overtime to clear downtown streets, lots

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No matter where you are in central Indiana Tuesday night, you don't have to go far to find heavy snow already on the ground.

Many restaurants and bars in downtown Indianapolis closed up early Tuesday, but the city was still bustling with snowplows. Workers were trying to clear the way for workers to get to the office downtown and park their cars Wednesday morning.

February 4 winter storm blog

As the sun goes down and the sun comes down, the work began. Empty parking lots had to be cleared of falling snow - again and again.

"Very, very busy. I mean, we've worked a lot of overtime. It seems like it snows every other day and this is probably the worst winter we've ever had," said David Noel.

Noel has lost track of how many nights he has plowed snow this winter.

Tuesday, Indianapolis snow was national news for what The Weather Channel calls "Winter Storm Nika."

"We look a storm system coming through. We look at a couple of places, a handful of spots and then we go there, where people are likely to be affected," said Weather Channel Meteorologist Reynolds Wolf. "A lot of snow to deal with, a lot of headaches for a lot of people."

Wolf is back on the street all day Wednesday, telling a familiar story this winter.

"It's been a relentless pattern. I gotta tell you, spring's around the corner. Think warm, think positive," he said.

"I am about done with winter for this year, yes," said Noel.

Northsiders dig out

"It happens all the time," said Lauri Challman as she looked outside of her home at 91st Street and Park Avenue to see a car stuck in a ditch there, the snow still falling fast and steady.

"The last big snow we had five people that got off in the ditch," explained Challman.

Tuesday night, though, it was only one in front of Challman's house.

"She won't be the last. There will be more and they'll do it again and again and again," explained Challman.

The snow fell steady on the north side of Indianapolis throughout the night, while the plows stayed busy up and down North Meridian Street.

"It's been crazy. Snowpocalypse," said 16-year-old Connor Richardson as he used a snow blower on his family's driveway.

It was either then or wait for the morning.

"I know there's going to be a lot of snow that's coming down, so (I) thought I'd just get on top of it tonight and finish the rest tomorrow," he explained.

Richardson said if school got canceled, he would be going out with a friend and his snow blower to help neighbors clear their driveways and also make some money.

Michael Campbell wasn't waiting for tomorrow to get his workout in at Lifetime Fitness at 96th and Meridian.@Snow or not, Campbell was getting his workout in Tuesday night.

"These are the warriors in here, yeah," said Campbell, referring to the others in the gym working out, too, as a fast and steady snow fell outside.

Those same warriors, like Campbell, faced a different battle once their workout was over. It was the battle to clean off snow-covered cars before fighting snow-covered streets and falling snow as they headed home.

Snow-ice mix to the south

Driving wasn't much easier in the southern part of central Indiana, where sleet and ice mixed with the snow.

Truck driver Jefferson Stevens had trouble in his rig near Bloomington.

"252 was shut down. Trucks couldn't make it up the hill and 46 was shut down," he said.

So like many near Edinburgh, after work, he stopped at McDonald's for relief.

"As long as you just keep two hands on the wheel and keep it normal, it's not as bad as a few weeks ago, I think," said Jeremy Booker of Taylorsville.

Some still had trouble, even in parking lots. The snow-ice mix made for very slow travel along I-65, bringing police out to deal with slide-off crashes.

The bad weather was quite a welcome back for Fred Belleau and his wife.

"We left Jupiter, Florida yesterday morning and it was 82 degrees," he said.