Record snowfall shuts down South Bend and Mishawaka

By: Kevin Lewis Email
By: Kevin Lewis Email

Saturday alone brought South Bend a record one day snowfall total of 25 inches. But this lake effect system started much earlier. By Saturday night, snow totals at South Bend Regional Airport measured 38.6 inches since flurries first started to come down Thursday night.

In the cool of it all, many people wondered why Michiana couldn’t break the record for the warmest temperature instead. That in fact happens to be 61 degrees for Jan. 8, a stark contrast from the mid teens and more than three feet of snow people had to conquer.

Saturday morning South Bend declared a winter weather emergency while much of Michiana was shut down all weekend long.

Whether by street or runway, plows worked to keep roadways open. Some trucked along looking to clear more than 20 airport cancellations and delays at South Bend Regional Airport. It was a city wide effort that came too late for some.

"This is my first time in Indiana and this is the worst snow I’ve ever seen,” Odun Amao said as she waited to board her Greyhound bus.

Fresh from Nigeria and en route to Cleveland, South Bend caused her one large delay.

"It was supposed to be an 8 hour long trip. Now it’s going to be 14 to 15 hours,” Amao added as she shook her head.

If you wanted to catch a Transpo bus, you may as well have put on your hiking boots. Every route was shut down, the first time it's happened in years.

With snow on its steeple, St. Hedwig parish cancelled Saturday confession and Sunday mass, a move dozens of churches reflected across the area.

Downtown South Bend didn't bring much more luck either. Even the South Bend Chocolate Café took the day off.

Still on duty were hundreds of emergency workers handling dozens of accidents. One man slid off the road on the bypass under the State Road 23 bridge. Police say the culprit behind his wreck, way too much snow and a little too much to drink.

With everything shut down, one Michigan couple chose to see a movie at a theater open every day of the year, except this one.

"I said, ‘Honey the lights are off, they're not open,’” Kameryn Spahr said to her boyfriend as they pulled into the parking lot at Cinemark Movies 14. "It’s kind of annoying. We usually don't come down to Indiana and now we know why,” Spahr added as she buckled up for the one hour drive back home to Sturgis.


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