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Heavy snow to impact travel tonight through Wednesday

Press Release - Tuesday, January 24, 2023

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning the public that winter weather will affect much of the state this evening through Wednesday, creating slick and slippery conditions, with some areas expected to receive up to 9 inches of snow. To prepare, IDOT as usual will have its snow-and-ice teams pretreating roads and bridges as necessary, with plowing operations ongoing throughout the storm and continuing in the days afterward.

"The men and women of IDOT will be out in force before, during and after the storm, but we need the public's cooperation as well," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "The safest option during inclement weather always is to avoid unnecessary trips and remain home, but if you are driving, expect travel to be slow and build plenty of extra time into your schedule. Conditions may be dangerous."

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning and advisory beginning this evening for much of Illinois, mainly south of Interstate 88. Snow accumulations are expected to range from 4 to 7 inches east of Interstate 55, with up to 9 inches east of I-57. Three inches or less are expected west of I-55, with 1 to 3 inches anticipated in the Chicago area.

If you must travel, be advised your destination could have significantly higher amounts of snow than where your trip originated. Slow down, anticipate much longer travel times, increase braking distances and expect conditions to deteriorate. Visibility at times will be a challenge.

"When it comes to ice and snow, even going the speed limit can be too fast for conditions," said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. "Give yourself extra time to get where you're going and give other drivers extra space."

Tips if you must travel:

• Check current road conditions at GettingAroundIllinois.com. You also can follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter.
• Fill up your gas tank and pack winter weather essentials, such as a cell phone charger, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, first aid kit, washer fluid and ice scraper.
• Check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.
• Use extra caution in areas susceptible to icing, including ramps, bridges, curves and shaded areas.
• Give snowplows plenty of room and move over for emergency responders. Don't crowd the plow!
• Always wear a seat belt. It's the law and your best protection in the event of a crash.
• If you are involved in a crash, remain inside your vehicle. Exiting your vehicle near a busy road can have fatal consequences.

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