Cleanup efforts continue after first major storm of 2014
Anticipating round two as new storm enters Illinois
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[January 04, 2014]
CHICAGO — The Illinois
Department of Transportation announced on Friday that winter weather
crews are continuing cleanup from Winter Storm Hercules, the New
Year's Day storm, with additional winter storm advisories coming for
Saturday night and Sunday in Illinois.
Most Illinois primary routes currently are clear of snow and ice
across the state, and IDOT winter weather crews now are clearing
shoulders, turn lanes, ramps and intersections to help prepare for
the next storm, which could begin with mixed winter precipitation
and snow as early as Saturday afternoon or evening in some parts of
the state. The additional snow will be followed by extremely low
temperatures early next week, perhaps record lows.
weather crews will be on the job overnight and throughout the
weekend to clean up and prepare for the next anticipated storm,"
said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. "Due to
high winds, blowing and drifting snow continues to be a challenge
for drivers in many parts of the state, so we advise motorists to
continue to take it slow, buckle up and avoid distractions. Above
all, during periods of winter weather and cold temperatures, always
consider whether the trip you're about to make is really necessary,
before you start out on the roads."
The National Weather Service has forecast blowing and drifting
snow into Saturday morning with the possibility of record-low
temperatures and dangerous wind chills through next week. Currently,
IDOT has 1,755 trucks assigned to snow duty across the state, and
nearly 3,700 full- and part-time employees throughout the state are
handling cleanup. IDOT will continue to monitor the latest storm
system as it moves into Illinois this weekend and will assign full
winter weather crews throughout the state as usual to help keep
roads clear and passable.
Drivers are reminded to exercise caution when snow and ice affect
roadways, and IDOT advises travel only when absolutely necessary
during winter storms or when temperatures are extremely low. During
the severely cold weather expected, the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security advises that Illinois residents limit exposure to cold
temperatures, dress in layers, check in on others who may need
additional assistance, keep vehicles in good repair, and bring pets
Other safety tips to remember:
Allow extra time
for travel during the winter months.
Don't crowd the
plow — a snowplow operator's field of vision is restricted. You
may see them, but they may not see you.
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Be aware that
black ice can form on roads that appear clear, and the unseen
ice can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching
intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas — all are
prone to black ice, which is often invisible.
Always keep your
gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle's
fuel line from freezing.
Do not travel
during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If you do have
to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is
aware of your travel route and schedule.
Always carry an
emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or
reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper,
traction material, blankets, nonperishable food, and a first-aid
Carry a few extra
blankets in your car and perhaps an extra coat to ensure
protection in case of a breakdown.
Carry a cellphone
and dial *999 for roadway assistance in case of emergency (but
remember that using hand-held phones while driving is illegal if
it is not an emergency situation).
Always wear a seat
belt, front seat or back — it's the law.
Check travel and road conditions
routinely before any trip. You can get road condition
information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway
information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI, or check online at
www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the "Winter Road
Illinois Department of
Transportation file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]