CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today reminded people throughout Illinois to stay alert this weekend for flood hazards caused by melting snow and rain. In addition, low overnight temperatures could freeze puddles and other wet areas to create dangerous slick spots on roads and sidewalks.
“Everyone should be cautious and look out for slick or flooded roads and sidewalks this weekend,” Governor Quinn said. “The melting snow and rainfall, combined with the frozen ground, is a recipe for flooding in many areas. Please travel safely, avoid standing water and watch out for ice.”
The increasing temperatures are melting ice on rivers and streams, which could cause ice jams in some areas. People living near rivers and streams are advised to watch the local forecast and to be prepared to follow instructions from local officials in the event of a flood emergency.
If drivers encounter water over a roadway, the National Weather Service advises them to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” (TADD). Many people have been hurt driving over flooded roads that are deceptively deep. The speed and depth of the water is not always obvious and a hidden portion of the road may have been washed out. As little as two feet of water can carry away most vehicles, with drivers having little control over their destination.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Tollway are deploying additional maintenance crews to help clear storm drains to allow any water covering sections of pavement to subside. Patrols will continue until the rain ends. Drivers should dial *999 from a cell phone for assistance if their vehicles become disabled or to report other stranded cars.
For more information about flood safety, visit the Ready Illinois website at Ready.Illinois.gov.