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Chart released by the National Weather Service tracks predicted snow totals across northern Indiana.. (NWS)
Hazardous travel conditions cause closures, delays across Elkhart County
Posted on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:01 a.m.

ELKHART – The Indiana Department of Homeland Security said road conditions were "threatening to the safety of the public" early Wednesday morning, Feb. 5

According to the department, people should only travel if it's essential for getting to work or in an emergency situation. Just before 9 a.m., the National Weather Service of Northern Indiana issued a special weather statement saying visibility was low across the county, with snow falling at rates of one inch per hour in some locations. 

The weather service said driving is not recommended and advised people who must drive to bring survival kits with water, food, extra clothes, flashlights and snow shovels with them in the car. 

"If you become stranded, stay in your car and wait for help to arrive," the weather service said in its statement.

Egbert Dijkstra, director of the Elkhart County 911 Communications Center, said 10 accidents were reported throughout the county Wednesday morning since 4 a.m. He said dispatch got 23 "motorist assists" reports. Those reports include slide-offs and drivers getting stuck in snow banks. 

Desiree Detwiler, assistant director of the Elkhart City Communications Center, said a total of four accidents were reported in the city. She said six disabled vehicles were reported as well. 

According to a press release from the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department, crashes and slide-offs have been reported at several locations throughout the county, including U.S. 33 in Dunlap, C.R. 24, west of C.R. 11, Market Street in Nappanee, C.R. 13 and C.R. 4, and C.R. 7, north of C.R. 10.

The sheriff's Department asked drivers to be cautious and slow down.

Many local schools, businesses and organizations have announced closures and delays due to the weather. For a complete list, click here.