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State warns motorists: Heavy snow, bitter cold to make travel hazardous (free content)

The Homewood-Flossmoor area could get 4 to 8 inches of snow from noon Saturday through Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service, and with gusty winds and cold temperatures, travel is expected to be hazardous all weekend.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is urging drivers to consider postponing any unnecessary travel.

“IDOT crews will be out on the roads but conditions could still be extremely hazardous, so we encourage motorists to ask themselves if they really need to make the trip,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “If you do have to travel, remember that the bitter cold and wind reduces the effectiveness of the materials we use to treat snow and ice. There will be lengthy travel times so make sure to prepare your vehicle in the event you are stranded.”

Gusty north winds Saturday afternoon will create blowing and drifting snow on east-west roads. Damaging winds and a few tornadoes will be possible. Heavy rainfall Friday night through Saturday could produce minor flooding of roads in low lying and poor drainage areas.

The coldest air of the season will occur with wind chills falling between zero to -20F west of the I-55 corridor Sunday morning, and north of I-72 corridor Monday morning, which will cause roads to freeze.

For anyone who must travel, IDOT offers these safety reminders:

  • 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.
  • Dial *999 in the Chicago area for assistance in case of emergency (but not while driving; using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation).
  • If you are involved in a crash or break down, remain inside your vehicle, which is your safest form of shelter. Exiting your vehicle into live traffic can have fatal consequences.
  • 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 www.gettingaroundillinois.com. You also can follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

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