By Paul Emmick, Cari Peugeot and Abby Weppler
10:24 AM EST, December 21, 2012
Our area is under a Winter Weather Advisory through tonight. The entire area will see some snow accumulation but the winds are the biggest factor. We've already had reports of power outages and even schools closed because of no power. Overnight we had reports of 60 mph wind gusts along the lake shore. Otherwise most gusts have been near 45 mph.
Snow totals are expected to average 1 to 3 inches. Another inch or so is possible in spots of the lake effect snow close to Lake Michigan.
The combination of snow and strong winds will result in blowing snow and could create near whiteout conditions at times, however much of the snow so far has been light.
We will continue to monitor other issues we typically see when we get strong winds like with trees and powerlines, etc. Plan extra time for travel and keep in mind travel throughout the Midwest may be quite slow and delayed.
10 a.m. Friday update from INDOT
Friday morning statement from the Indiana Department of Transportation:Nearly all state roads across Northwest Indiana are in fair to good condition. Many are wet or slushy, but free of ice. The snow is moving out of the area now, but wind is still whipping around so be careful out there. Lake effect snow is expected in the northern parts of the district later this morning and afternoon.
Fallen tree pins woman in Niles home
The storm created a dangerous situation for a Niles family Friday morning.
Our reporter at the scene says a woman on the first floor of a home in the 500 block of Cass Street became pinned under a tree that fell on the house and her family couldn't pull her out.
Responders rescued her and while she didn’t have external injuries, she was transported to the hospital as a precaution for internal injuries.
We will bring you updates as they become available.
Walkerton officer involved in crash
Just after 7 a.m. a Walkerton police officer was involved in a 2-car crash on State Road 4 just west of 31 in St. Joseph County. There were reportedly no serious injuries.
St. Joseph, Michigan Christmas Tree
WSBT correspondent Mark Parren took the photo shown above of the St. Joseph, Michigan city Christmas tree. He says there are scattered power outages throughout town
Berrien County undersheriff Chuck Height says there was a house fire in the village of Michiana, which is in New Buffalo Township. A tree came down on a wire and set the home on fire.
Toll Road wind ban
Thursday night statement from the Indiana Department of Transportation:
"The Indiana Toll Road has issued a wind ban beginning tonight at 6pm for triple and long-double semi trucks. It will be in effect until 6pm Friday.
"But, just because your car isn't banned doesn't mean you won't have trouble in the wind. Be careful on ALL roads as this storm moves through.
"You may want to leave a day later than you planned for holiday travel. Your family would much rather you arrive safely."
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