Winter Storm Ahead; Travel Advisory Urges Public to Stay Home


Heavy snow, rain to impact travel across Illinois; public urged to plan ahead, anticipate slick conditions and slow travel

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is warning the public that a major winter storm will impact travel across the state, with the potential to drop several inches of snow across northern Illinois and hail and freezing rain expected in regions to the south. The public is advised to plan accordingly and anticipate deteriorating conditions, slick roads and much longer travel times.

“Our crews at IDOT are mobilized and prepared for the return of winter weather this week,” said acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “As always in periods of inclement weather, the safest option is to stay home. If you must drive, slow down, give the road your undivided attention and please do not crowd our plows.”

A snow plow
The National Weather Service predicts heavy snow and freezing rain for the Chicagoland region, through Tuesday of this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning, predicting heavy snow to begin falling this afternoon and into Tuesday. Between an inch and up to 8 inches is expected between Springfield and the Wisconsin border, with heavier totals up north. Freezing rain and possibly hail are predicted in central and southern Illinois, with road conditions potentially becoming hazardous.

Visibility and slippery conditions will be a challenge the duration of the storm.

Please obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits. Remember, speed limits are set for clear conditions. Only drive the speed limit if it is safe to do so.

Brendan F. Kelly, Illinois State Police

The department will have available more than 1,800 trucks and equipment statewide, applying salt, treating roads and responding to other weather emergencies. If you encounter a plow or any maintenance vehicle during your travels, please slow down, increase your driving distance and remain patient.

Allow additional travel time if you must travel, and ensure that your vehicle is in safe operating condition.

“If you must travel, we ask that you allow additional time to reach your destination and ensure your vehicle is in a safe operating condition,” said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Please obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits. Remember, speed limits are set for clear conditions. Only drive the speed limit if it is safe to do so. And please watch out for emergency responders and highway maintainers who are doing their best to keep the roadways safe.”

Travel Safety Tips

  • Travel slowly, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shaded areas that are prone to icing.
  • Make sure your gas tank is full.
  • Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first-aid kit, washer fluid and an ice scraper in your vehicle.
  • Check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your route and schedule.
  • Carry a cellphone and dial *999 in the Chicago area for assistance in case of emergency.
  • Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.
  • If you are involved in a crash, remain inside your vehicle. Exiting your vehicle into live traffic can have fatal consequences.
  • Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.

For more information about statewide road conditions, visit www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

By Margo Pelak

Margo Pelak is founder of the Local Newsreader. She resides in Hawthorn Woods with her husband Dennis and their two wild beasts.