Rounds of rain, sleet, snow
hitting Illinois, delivering major travel impact this weekend
IDOT, ISP prepared for flooding, heavy
snow, urge public to plan ahead
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[January 11, 2020]
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning
the public that a major storm with the potential for torrential
rains, flash flooding, freezing rain, sleet and snow will impact
travel this weekend throughout the state. Motorists should plan
accordingly, anticipate conditions to change suddenly with roads
becoming extremely slick, while allowing for much longer travel
“While IDOT is prepared for this unusual storm, driving will be
hazardous this weekend. If it is not essential, please ask yourself
if your trip can wait until conditions improve,” said Acting
Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “If you must be on the
roads, slow down, avoid distractions inside your vehicle and do not
crowd our plows. In areas impacted by heavy rains, do not attempt to
drive through flooded roads.”
The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning, predicting
heavy rains this evening that will convert to freezing rain and
sleet in west central Illinois and the Chicago area. Snow is
expected to begin Saturday, with accumulations of 2 inches in the
Peoria area, up to 5 inches in northwestern Illinois and up to 3
inches in the Chicago area. In southern Illinois, a wind advisory is
in effect starting tonight through Saturday.
Visibility and slippery conditions will be a challenge the duration
of the storm.
Flooding is a strong possibility throughout much of the state. Wet
pavement in winter can freeze with little warning, creating
treacherous driving conditions. Do not drive through standing water
– turn around, don’t drown.
The department will have available more than 1,800 trucks and
equipment statewide, applying salt, treating roads or responding to
flooding situations. If you encounter a plow or any maintenance
vehicle during your travels, please slow down, increase your driving
distance and remain patient.
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“Winter weather brings additional challenges and responsibilities for all
motorists,” said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. “With the
winter storm expected this weekend, the Illinois State Police would like to
remind motorists who must travel to reduce their speed, limit distractions while
driving and allow for extra travel time to help ensure their safety. Lastly, ISP
would also like to remind all motorists to ‘Move Over-Slow Down’ for all
emergency vehicles and any vehicles with flashing lights.”
Other tips if you must travel:
• Take it slow, 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 roadway assistance in
case of emergency.
• Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless
it is an emergency situation.
• Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back
seat. It’s the law.
For regular updates on statewide road conditions, visit
[Illinois Office of Communication and