PUTNAMVILLE -- As if the first significant snowfall of the season weren't enough, a driver on Interstate 70 suddenly found a fallen tree in his path Tuesday morning.
The unidentified driver was eastbound, approaching the Putnamville exit (State Road 243) in a full-sized pickup truck, when the obstruction entered his path from a thicket in the median of the interstate.
The tree, apparently affected by the same snowfall that made driving treacherous Tuesday morning, partially blocked both eastbound lanes.
State Trooper Adam Edwards responded to the call at 11:23 a.m., finding only property damage to the truck and no injuries.
A crew from the Indiana Department of Transportation was called to cut and remove the tree from the roadway.
The proximity of the exit ramp alleviated the traffic situation somewhat, as police were able to divert motorists onto the shoulder and approach to the ramp in order to get past the fallen tree.
Meanwhile, the initial snowfall of December and the first since winter arrived Dec. 21 could serve as a warm-up for the rest of the season.
The snow moved through the area mid-morning, dropping a storm total of 1 to 2 inches of snow along and north of a line from Crawfordsville to Indianapolis to Richmond.
The Greencastle area received about two inches before the slushy snow melted away with partial sunshine and warmer afternoon temperatures.
Local traffic, however, found it tough sledding for a while Tuesday with a van reported off the roadway on U.S. 231 South about 11:30 a.m. and a vehicle on its side on State Road 42 around the same time.
"It looks like 10-50s (code for motor vehicle accidents) are stacking up," one police dispatcher said during the height of the trouble.
About 45 INDOT salt trucks were out on area highways.
"I think we dodged a bullet here, but it's a wake-up call to get ready for winter," INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity said.