The winter weather is wearing thin with Goshen residents who again had to heed a snow emergency Monday in Elkhart County.
The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners issued a snow emergency for the county, closing all county offices and restricting traffic to emergency vehicles only.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department clarified that officers would not issue citations for people driving to and from work, but they encouraged limited travel and using extreme caution due to road conditions.
Blowing and drifting snow was causing difficult road conditions, the sheriff’s office said.
Many local businesses were closed Monday due to the extreme weather and some were closing for Tuesday as well with temperatures expected to drop and high expected to cause dangerous wind chills.
Christie Alexander Paxton, office manager at A New Beginning on Washington Street, was shoveling the walk Monday and checking the building even though the business would be closed.
“It’s annoying at this point,” she said of the winter weather. Alexander Paxton said that she became aware of the snow emergency after she had left her house but she would obey it.
“We’re going right back home,” she said.
Angela Hayes of Goshen, was returning home from her job at Crystal Valley Comfort, which sent employees home because of the emergency she said, when she got stuck in the snow in her driveway.
Hayes said she would heed the emergency declaration and is tired of the winter weather.
“I’m ready for spring,” she said. “This weather is just awful.”
Tom Kownover, of Goshen, took a break from shoveling his front walk to say that this winter has been especially harsh.
“I feel like I’ve shoveled twice as much snow as last year,” he said.
Most local schools were canceled school Monday and many businesses, offices and public meetings have been canceled as well.
The bitterly cold weather also has potential to cause problems for Goshen utility customers. Kent Holdren, Goshen Water Department superintendent, offered several suggestions for preventing frozen pipes:
• Keep garage doors closed if there is a water supply line in the garage.
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if its on an exterior wall. Move any household cleaners and chemicals in those cabinets out of the reach of children.
• If people have had an issue in the past with frozen pipes, or feel like they could, let cold water drip from the faucet. “We’re talking just a trickle,” Holdren said.
• Keep thermostats at the same temperature throughout the day.
• People going away for an extended period during cold weather should leave the heat on in their homes. The temperature should be no lower than 55 degrees.
• Owners of vacant structures that have water service to them should check on them.
• If pipes freeze, check for cracks and breaks before thawing them out. If there are cracks and breaks, turn off the water before attempting to thaw pipes. Not doing so could lead to flooding problems.
Outpatient offices closed
All IU Health Goshen outpatient offices will be closed today through Tuesday due to the travel warning issued by Elkhart County Emergency Management.
This will include all physician offices, outpatient rehabilitation, The Retreat, outpatient imaging, Team:Bariatrics, The Sleep Center and The Wound Center.
IU Health Goshen Hospital will remain open.