UNDER THE WEATHER: Fast and heavy, snow piles up around the county

COLUMBIA CITY — Almost a foot of snow blanketed Whitley County Tuesday night. Official reports from the National Weather Service in North Webster recorded 8.5 inches of snow accumulation for Columbia City and 11 inches for Larwill. The snow fall was described as “fast” and “heavy,” by NWS reports, with the bulk of accumulation occurring within two to three hours.Whitley County Emergency Management Agency reported more than 11 inches of accumulation for the area.Neighboring counties reported snow fall from 6 inches to 11 inches. “With storms like this we tend to see bands that are more concentrated,” said Meteorologist Sam Lashley. “One area can experience a drastic difference in numbers when right next door another county can see a considerable difference.”Columbia City’s street department experienced some complications while tackling the snow Tuesday night.“It was slippery,” said Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel. “Our smaller trucks were sliding off the road.”Mayor Daniel was out with the city’s crews lending a hand in clearing streets, but as early-morning drivers ventured out on city streets, plows continued to work.“We’re working with multiple departments,” Mayor Daniel said. “We’re doing the best we can. It’s a different kind of snow we’re dealing with — it’s thicker. Considering the amount of snow we got and that most of it came between 7 and 10:30 p.m., I think our crews are doing a good job. I know they will keep at it until we are clear.”The snow is not expected to stick around. With temperatures rising to the upper 40s and low 50s, Lashley said most of the snow will melt over the weekend.“There is some concern that the melting snow might cause some flooding. There is a lot of liquid there,” Lashley said. Streams and rivers are currently at a normal level so they should be able to accommodate the melting snow. But weather patterns indicate rain for the early part of next week.“With the rising temperatures, we are watching for some rainfall,” Lashley said. “That rainfall added to the snow melting is where the real concern comes in for flooding. Folks need to watch for low-lying areas that have a tendency to flood.”All three Whitley County school districts were closed Wednesday.