- Associated Press - Monday, December 28, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Icy conditions sent some vehicles careening into each other and off of highways in northwestern Indiana while high water from recent heavy rains closed roads to traffic across the southern two-thirds of the state, authorities said Monday.

The collisions were too numerous to count Monday morning on Interstate 80/94 in Lake County but none involve serious injuries, Indiana State Police Cpl. Dan Becker said.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Lake and Porter counties with up to a quarter of an inch of ice possible. It also issued a freezing rain advisory for other sections of northern Indiana.

The slick conditions posed the first winter driving test of the season for many motorists.

“In many ways this is one of the first winter weather events of the year and that can be challenging because as you well know people forget how to drive,” Matt Deitchley, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, told The (Munster) Times. “People need to brake early and check their brakes often and reduce speeds.”

Road closings also created challenges for drivers. Among the major highways closed at times Monday in northern Indiana were U.S. 421 in LaPorte County and, because of downed power lines, U.S. 6 in LaGrange County.

The severe weather also wreaked havoc for power companies. Northern Indiana Public Service Co. and Indiana Michigan Power Co. both reported thousands of customers without power Monday afternoon because of the weather.

In central and southern Indiana, high water following three days of heavy rains caused scattered road closures. The weather service said rainfall since Saturday morning ranged from 2 inches to more than 5 inches in the regions.

Flood warnings remained in effect Monday for the Wabash and White rivers and many of their tributaries, where moderate lowland flooding could continue for the coming days.

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