Village crews assist stranded motorists, fix water main break during massive snowstorm

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Village crews assist stranded motorists, fix water main break during massive snowstorm

February 27, 2021 - 09:24
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On Feb. 24, there were still big piles of dirty snow in a shopping center parking lot on Halsted Street, the remains of the big storm on Feb. 16. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

On Saturday, Feb. 27, temperatures were expected to reach a balmy 50 degrees or more under sunny skies, providing winter-weary H-F residents a taste of spring. But 11 days ago, the situation was starkly different.

It just kept snowing.

By the time the final flakes fell in the evening of Feb. 16, Homewood and Flossmoor residents saw 14 full inches of snow outside their windows.

The massive winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on top of several inches already sitting on the ground, making shoveling a full-day project.

With temperatures below freezing, H-F residents also faced icy, snowed-over roads.

According to Flossmoor Public Works Director John Brunke, crews worked overnight Monday and into Tuesday evening to keep roads clear.

“This was definitely a bad winter storm but for the most part Flossmoor fared well,” Brunke said. “Due to the amount of snow, we hauled snow out of some of our parking lots and downtown area.”

Flossmoor Police Chief Tod Kamleiter reported that officers assisted about six stranded motorists throughout the storm, and responded to three traffic crashes, none with injuries.

According to Homewood Police Chief Denise McGrath, on Feb. 16 officers responded to two traffic crashes. From 5 p.m. on Feb. 15 to midnight on Feb. 16, McGrath said, the department received and responded to 17 “disabled vehicle” calls.

Homewood Public Works crews also fixed a water main break that happened midday Feb. 15 in the Downey Manor neighborhood, south of the intersection of Dixie Highway and 183rd Street. 

The work required public works staff to close Dixie Highway for about one-third of a mile, from 183rd Street to Willow Road.

Dixie Highway remained closed throughout the day Feb. 16, and at 10 a.m. the Village of Homewood reported on social media that there were “many Homewood residents without water.”

By 4:43 p.m., the water main had been repaired and water was back on for all residents, according to village social media posts. Homewood Public Works Director John Schaefer didn’t respond to messages requesting more information.

As residents and businesses continue to clean up from the snowfall, Flossmoor Public Works Director Brunke issued one request for now — and even next year.

“I think the best thing we could remind residents is to not place their snow from their driveways back into the street after it is plowed,” he said. 

“We put this message out each year, but it still occurs throughout the town, and this creates a hazardous condition on the street for motorists.”