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I-65 Reopens After Hours-Long Pileup Caused By Multiple Truck Crashes On Snowy Highway

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The northbound lanes of Interstate 65 in northwest Indiana reopened Friday afternoon in Northwest Indiana, after they were shut down for several hours due to a string of truck crashes starting Thursday night amid heavy snowfall.

The trouble began late Thursday night, after several semis crashed or slid of the snowy interstate near Rensselaer, leaving some drivers stranded for hours overnight.

Around 4:30 a.m. Friday, all northbound lanes of I-65 were blocked near Rensselaer after a semi lost two steel coils it had been hauling, and crews needed several hours to clear the scene. Traffic backed up as far as 30 miles along I-65.

The backup got so bad, Indiana State Police asked drivers not to call 911, because so many people were calling asking what was going on.

A mix of rain, snow, and high winds combined to create a traffic nightmare.

"The roads are snow-covered. The salt is just not working with the cold temperatures," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Glen Fifield. "We were not able to pre-treat the roads, just like over in Illinois, with the rain that we had, and then the ice. So it's a no-win situation right now. We're doing the best we can. I know INDOT is out plowing the roads."

During the early morning hours, Indiana State Police did rescue some stranded motorists who were in distress. Troopers said some hotels along I-65 already were booked solid.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m., Fifield said all lanes of I-65 had reopened.

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