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Tales from the storm

Family sees no plows at far end of county

Randy and Gina Kintz in rural Allen County were still in a sea of unplowed snow as of Monday afternoon.

The family lives at the southwest corner of Allen County near the Wells and Huntington County lines – about 5 miles south of General Motors, Randy said.

While their daughter, Kelsey, a student at Purdue University, was snowed in at West Lafayette, 15-year-old Zach spent time at home with his parents, working on the computer and watching TV.

Although Kintz used a tractor and spent two hours plowing his driveway Monday night, it was a losing battle since the high wind quickly undid all of his hard work, he said.

He had not seen a single vehicle on the nearby county road and held out no hope for a snowplow anytime soon.

“We are at the end of a dead-end road, so we are last on the list,” Randy said.

The storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow Sunday in northeast Indiana kept many of the region’s residents at home Monday.

Randy is employed as a service manager and technician at Office Concepts Inc. in Fort Wayne and Gina works at Norwell High School, both of which closed Monday.

“If we don’t see a plow soon, I’m not getting out to go to work again on Tuesday, that’s for sure,” he said.

Passing time with movie marathon

Greg and Margaret Blake and their three children live just off U.S. 33, about a mile north of Churubusco in Whitley County – close enough to see that the federal highway had been plowed by 10 a.m. Monday but unable to reach it.

Separated from the highway by two unplowed county roads, no one could get to work, so the Blakes hunkered down for the duration, Margaret Blake said.

“We’re not even trying to get out,” she said.

The family held a movie marathon Sunday night – watching four movies in a row – and Margaret and Molly, 16, spent Monday watching a “Dirty Dancing” marathon on TV while Greg and Lee, 22, plowed the driveway and made a path for the family’s beagle to go and do his business, Margaret said.

Meanwhile, Chandler, 19, stayed in her room and communicated – via social media – with friends.

Luckily, the electricity did not go out, or the teen might have been forced to spend time with her family, her mom said, laughing.

Driveway sealed off from Albion street

In rural Albion, Diane Rostochak and her son, Tim, 26, were snowed in with no hopes of getting out until the wind let up, she said.

Rostochak lives in a subdivision about eight miles from Indiana 9, she said.

Someone had plowed the subdivision but had inadvertently sealed off the end of Rostochak’s driveway, she said.

“I will have to wait for Tim to shovel through that and it’s about 4 feet deep,” she said Monday.

“Even then, I don’t think the county roads are plowed and I don’t think we are going anywhere,” she said.

Rostochak did not have to report to work at Creative Coating on Cook Road in Fort Wayne, since the manufacturing firm, like many others in the area, was closed due to the weather.

Time with family a benefit of closure

By 2 p.m. Monday, Rob Yates, who lives on Baird Road in northwest Allen County, had yet to see a county snowplow.

But that was OK with him.

“It’s kind of nice,” Yates said. “We’re enjoying some family time. We can’t go outside, so we are making the best of it.”

Yates’ workplace, No-Sag Products in Kendallville was closed, as was his wife, Theresa’s place of employment, Northwest Allen County Schools.

Rob and Theresa spent time watching TV and gathering photos and mementos for the upcoming 50th anniversary of Theresa’s parents.

Breeanna, 11, busied herself crocheting scarves and making rubber band bracelets with two Christmas gifts she had received while Dillon, 13, played Minecraft on Skype, Yates said.

Yates’ older sons PJ, 22, and Robert, 19, were both scheduled to work until midnight Sunday at McDonald’s on Lima Road near Dupont Road.

The boys texted their mother for updates on weather conditions, and were released to go home early at around 7 p.m., Yates said.

“There were really no customers at that time,” he said.

Although it was closer to go to their parents’ home on Baird Road, the young men chose to travel the main thoroughfares to their apartment at Canterbury Green, near IPFW, where they are both students.

“It was treacherous, but they made it and texted once they made it and were safe and sound in their apartment,” Yates said.

Although Yates had twice plowed out his driveway – Sunday night and Monday morning – it had drifted shut with an hour, he said.

Will he try to make it out of his driveway and brave the weather to go to work today?

“At the moment, I’m not even worried about it,” he said. “No sense in killing myself.”

“And, this family time is kind of nice,” he added.

vsade@jg.net

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