Whiting, Ind. (CBS) –Northwestern Indiana was getting hit hard by a winter storm that hit the Chicago area Thursday, and it didn’t end in the overnight hours.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports, the trip to northwest Indiana was taking its toll on snow-covered roads, cars tipping over, people trying to plow and salt trucks taking their toll. At 10:00, eruptions were still going down – but the sub-zero temperature was more worrying.
City officials were especially concerned about ice on the roads Thursday night.
But in downtown Whiting, Indiana, it was kind of like a winter wonderland — a fun streetscape and some businesses.
“Honestly, we had a better day this year on the 22nd than last year,” said Joel Bender, owner of Mind Benders Puzzles and Games.
Mind Benders owners Joel and Amy Bender opened their doors to holiday gift shoppers late Thursday night.
“It was very busy, but people were coming in,” Joel Bender said. “We said we would be there until 7. We will stick to our word.”
Some businesses along 119th Street in Whiting closed early after Christmas — and after the deep freeze.
The day was filled with cancellations at Lakeside Barber Studio on 119th Street.
“I’ve had two clients cancel because of the icy roads and high winds,” said Oscar Lags of Lakeside Barbers Studio. “I understand, things happen. I’d rather people be safe than come here and cause an accident.”
And then there was Joe Esperza, who, despite the cold and the snow, planned to stay on the shovel well into the morning.
“That’s the only way you can do it. I mean, that’s the only way you can get your car out or back in. If you’re standing on top of it, that’s the only way you can do it,” Esperza said. “If it wasn’t for the wind, I don’t think it would have happened.”
The wind is also a big problem, as the plows were in the process of clearing the road – only for the snow to blow back.
Whiting residents remember that 119th Street is an emergency plow road, and anyone who stops there is ticketed and towed.