SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that snow and ice from Winter Storm Titan will create slick and dangerous road conditions for the traveling public statewide. The National Weather Service forecasted a cold front to move through beginning today to be followed by a snowfall band expected of 6 to 10 inches throughout Illinois from Saturday night through Sunday night.
IDOT has full crews and equipment standing by to deploy to impacted areas. Approximately 1,755 snow plows and 3,700 employees are available statewide to remove snow and ice from state routes and to help ensure the safety of the motoring public.
Motorists who must travel during the storm should check road conditions and road closures at www.gettingaroundillinois.com before heading out. Due to flooding, the Oquawka Covered Bridge rest area, IL-9 at the Spoon River Bottoms and IL-37 at 700 Avenue are closed. Brussels Ferry also remains closed. IDOT will continue to monitor the winter weather statewide and respond accordingly.
“IDOT has been preparing for the last couple of days in anticipation of Winter Storm Titan, and will be ready when the snow and ice begins to fall across the state,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “With the wintry mix expected, motorists are advised to use extreme caution if they must travel, take it slow, buckle up and check winter road conditions before heading out.”
IDOT advises travel only when absolutely necessary during winter storms or when temperatures are extremely low. During severely cold weather, the Illinois Department of Human Services 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. For a list of warming centers in Illinois, visit KeepWarm.Illinois.gov.
Safety tips to remember:
• Allow extra time for travel during the winter months.
• 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.
• 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, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
• Carry a few extra blankets in your car, and perhaps an extra coat to ensure protection in case of a breakdown.
• Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance in case of emergency (but remember using handheld 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 online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.