These days South Bend is feeling more like Siberia. If the substantial snowfalls we keep getting aren’t enough, we are also constantly dealing with sub-freezing temperatures. For the second time this year, the city of South Bend declared a winter weather emergency. And this is coming from a city that is most certainly accustomed to big winter snowfalls. It’s hard to stay creative from a visual standpoint in these arctic weather conditions, especially since I’ve been shooting the same photos in essence since late November. Spring cannot arrive soon enough.
After reports in the national media and on social media, I was sent to Michigan City, Ind. on Thursday evening to photograph the scene of a colossal pileup. My drive happened to coincide with one of the worst snow storms I’ve ever had to drive through (and this is coming from someone who lived in Wyoming). Somehow I made it and was able to make a few pictures of the destruction along the interstate. It’s truly unlike anything I had ever seen. It was so unread it seemed like something one might see in a disaster movie.
My assignment today was to cover the snow storm and extreme cold weather. We here in South Bend are under a “Disaster Emergency Declaration” through noon on Tuesday. I had trouble finding people because the entire city was like a ghost town. It was quite an eerie feeling to look down the main drag of downtown South Bend to see no cars or traffic on a Monday morning. (Because of the emergency declaration, people are being advised to stay off the roads with the threat of $500 citations by police.) The only people I saw outside today for the most part were plow drivers, USPS workers and – you guessed it – fellow journalists. The lack of people ended up being the basis of a lot of my photos today: eerie streetscapes where people should be (third photo). All things considered, it was a decent day at work with only one near-death experience. Looking forward to shooting a few more things on my “hit list” tomorrow as the snow removal continues.