The Hoosierist: Which Indiana City Gets The Most Snow?

Snowy towns, hard water, and dry counties. Ask The Hoosierist.

Q: Which Indiana city gets the most snow each year?
A: Not surprisingly, “The Region” hosts Indiana’s snowiest cities, mostly because they’re the “lucky” recipients of all that lake-effect snow. Yes, the Great Lakes give us far more than just shipping lanes and the inspiration for Gordon Lightfoot songs. Come winter, they also like to dump their excess moisture on nearby communities. The city bearing the brunt of this largesse is South Bend, which gets 70.8 inches of snow annually—about four more inches than Nome, Alaska. Other top snow magnets include Fort Wayne, which faces a driveway-clogging 33.6 inches, and Indianapolis, which gets only 24.6 inches. However, our city makes it seem like more by taking forever to scrape it up—especially in front of The Hoosierist’s house.

Q: Are there any “dry” counties or towns in Indiana?
A: For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, a “dry” county is one in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is forbidden. Though there are a few such places just over our southern state line (we’re looking at you, Kentucky), Indiana lacks any of its own. However, we do have Shipshewana, the tiny Northern Indiana town that’s the unofficial capital of our Amish community. The hamlet bans all alcohol sales within its confines, mostly in deference to its quilt-making, dark hat-wearing citizenry. Which is odd, because the Amish are somewhat famous for their alcohol-fueled antics—especially during Rumspringa, the coming-of-age ritual that allows teens to sample the pleasures of the outside world. Which usually includes having a beer or 10.

Q: Why do we have such hard tap water here?
A: Thank the local geology. Our ground is chock full of calcium, magnesium, and iron, so when our water percolates through the soil, it picks up those elements. Citizens Energy Group reckons our H2O ranges in hardness from 200 to 350 milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter. The U.S. Geological Survey calls just 180 milligrams per liter “very hard,” which must classify Indy’s supply as “solid enough to walk on.” Our super-hard water plays heck with morning hygiene in numerous ways. It can clog your water heater with lime scale; gunk up your showerhead; and make it tougher for everything from shampoo to laundry detergent to do its work. Your best (actually, only) solution is to spring for a water softener. Filling it with gigantic bags of salt gets old quickly, but your plumbing (and clothes) will thank you.


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