INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The heaviest snowfall in 13 years buried central Indiana under a foot of snow Wednesday, shuttering schools and stores and leaving more than 100,000 southern Indiana homes and businesses without power after icy accumulations brought down power lines.
By midday, 12.5 inches of snow had fallen in Indianapolis -- the most since 12.8 inches fell in January 1996, according to the National Weather Service.
Darlene Johnson of Greenwood wasn't happy Wednesday morning as she pulled into an Indianapolis gas station to fuel up her car. Her shoes were already encrusted in snow and her hat white and damp from melted snow.
She said her morning commute to work is normally about 30 minutes, but Wednesday it took her nearly two hours, including the task of shoveling out her car and driveway.
"I was shoveling and shoveling but it's like powder and it kept blowing back into my face," she complained. "I can't wait for spring because this really, really sucks."
Ice accumulations of up to three-quarters of an inch that accompanied the snow and sleet downstate left about 65,000 Vectren customers without power in the Evansville area. Duke Energy reported more than 64,000 outages, most in Clark and Floyd counties near Louisville, Ky.
Vectren spokeswoman Chase Kelley said the ice was knocking down tree limbs and power lines even as workers were working on repairs.
"We're seeing it's just an absolute mess in terms of systemwide damage," she said. "There's not a county we serve that isn't touched by outages."
Weather service meteorologist Logan Johnson said the Indianapolis snowfall ranked as the sixth-heaviest accumulation on record, tying it with storms that also dropped 12.5 inches in January 1968 and February 1965.
With nearly 13 inches on the ground in Bloomington and Muncie, Indiana University closed its 39,000-student campus for the day, as did Ball State University, because of hazardous travel conditions. The University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Vincennes University and IUPUI in Indianapolis were also closed for the day.
Forecasters said little additional accumulation was expected before the storm that arrived late Monday pushes east of the state Wednesday afternoon.
Other Indiana snowfall reports included 10 inches in Terre Haute, 8.3 inches in Greensburg, 7 inches in Columbus and 5 inches in Lafayette.
The weather service said central and southern Indiana had received between 6 and 13 inches of snow by daybreak.
Travel was hazardous and most school districts in the southern-two thirds of the state closed for the day. Some rural counties also issued warnings asking drivers to stay off roads.
The storm was good news for Greg Hardin and his two friends who drove about 30 miles from Shelbyville to Indianapolis to make extra money by plowing a storefront's 3-acre parking lot with snow blades they attached to their pickup trucks.
Hardin said that until Wednesday's storm scant snowfall had made for a lean winter of snowplowing jobs. The foot of snow on the ground was almost to much for them to plow.
"We were hoping it would snow, but not this much," Hardin said.
The trio started clearing the lot at 3 a.m. -- and were still plowing four hours later.