Bitterly cold winds and heavy snow caused numerous counties to close down their courts and government offices Monday.
Initially, state and many local government offices, including the state courts, planned delays Monday in response to the severe weather, but late Sunday most of those impacted decided to shut down for the day. Acting Chief Justice Steven David, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik and Tax Judge Martha Wentworth announced Sunday that the state appellate courts would be closed Monday.
“We are concerned about the welfare and safety of our employees traveling in these extreme temperatures and want to do our part to keep the roads clear for snow removal and emergency personnel,” David explained.
Courts are closed around the state, including in Hendricks, Henry, Marion and St. Joseph counties. The weather led many counties to declare emergencies, including Allen, Boone, Delaware, Lake and LaPorte counties. The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana also closed Monday in Fort Wayne. Interstate 65 was shut down between Lafayette and Merrillville due to poor weather conditions as well as portions of I-80/94.
Nearly all counties in central and northern Indiana were under travel warnings late Sunday and early Monday, making it illegal for people to be on the roads except in cases of an emergency. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard declared a travel emergency late Sunday for Marion County. The last time the county took this action was during the blizzard of 1978.
The weather also pushed back the return of legislators to the Statehouse. The House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.