Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2014

CONTACT:
Paris Ervin 217.782.5025
Jae Miller 312.814.4693

IDOT Winter Crews Deploy As Snow and Dangerous Temperatures Move into Illinois

Thousands of IDOT Trucks and Employees Ready for Pending Storm

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced this morning that winter weather crews have deployed to address the snowfall, and in some areas freezing rain, expected through Sunday. Currently, the majority of state routes are clear of snow and ice, but the condition is expected to change drastically by early evening.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for snow from 6 p.m. to midnight Sunday throughout Illinois. Snow is already falling in some areas with the heaviest snowfall expected to occur around midnight through noon Sunday with winds expected to increase from 15 to 20 mph with gusts in excess of 30 mph. As a result of the high winds, motorists should expect blowing and drifting snow and low visibility.

“IDOT crews are deployed and ready tackle this storm,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “We want to warn motorists that roads will be slick and potentially very dangerous. We advise motorists use extreme caution, only travel if absolutely necessary, take it slow, buckle up and avoid distractions.”

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 available to help ensure roads are clear and passable. IDOT will continue to monitor the latest storm system as it moves into Illinois.

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 indoors.

Other safety tips to remember:

  • Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.

  • Allow extra time for travel during the winter months.

  • Watch out for black ice on roads that appear clear but 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.

  • Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.

  • Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance.

  • Always wear a safety belt.

  • Motorists are urged to check travel conditions 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 online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.
     

 

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