cows

These beef cattle graze in some corn stubble as snow flies around them in rural Fremont on Monday morning when the snow was just starting to fly. Snow conditions worsened as the day wore on, causing multiple slide-off accidents throughout Steuben County.

ANGOLA — The first winter weather event of the 2019-2020 season appeared to catch people off guard, resulting in numerous slide-off wrecks, including one that took out a utility pole an put the south side of Angola in the dark for about an hour.

At about noon, a vehicle slid off of Kankamp Road on Angola’s south side, near South Wayne Street. It is not known if there were any injuries, but the damage to a NIPSCO utility pole was enough to knock out power for many customers on the south side of Angola.

NIPSCO spokeswoman Dana Berkes said “a vehicle hit a pole around noon today causing a guy wire to disconnect. Crews were dispatched and power restored within the hour for the 379 customers affected.”

“This wasn’t your typical accident,” Angola Police Chief Stu Hamblen said.

The driver, a teen, was taken to a healthcare provider for observation.

In another accident worked by city police, a car rolled off of a county road that runs parallel to Interstate 69 and ended up on the interstate, Hamblen said.

It is believed the driver was not injured.

“It could have been worse,” Hamblen said.

With many government offices closed for Veterans Day, workers in street and highway departments were brought in to try to keep up with the snow, which picked up intensity as the afternoon wore on.

“We are out in full force,” said Jen Sharkey, Steuben County Highway Department engineer. “The wind combined with the snowfall and freezing temperatures makes it challenging to keep up.”

Sharkey and Sheriff R.J. Robinson reminded motorists to make sure they drive with the winter weather conditions in mind, if they must travel at all.

“I would like to remind the community since the weather has changed for the first time to use caution and do regard and think of others while on our roadways,” Robinson said.

The weather conditions kept police agencies across the county busy.

“We’re keeping our heads above water,” said Mike Meeks, the sheriff’s chief deputy.

The snowfall was well above normal, which is three-tenths of an inch for Nov. 11, but nowhere close to a record. The record for Angola on Nov. 11, 13.1 inches, was set in 1966.

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