IDOT, ISP prepared for flooding, heavy snow, urge public to plan ahead
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 tonight and 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 times.
“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.