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Snow Blog: Stay Home if You Can

The heaviest snow is expected between 2 and 4 p.m.

Friday, 10 p.m. 

The Illinois Tollway will continue snow clean-up operations through the night, according to a Tollway press release. 

The Tollway helped 159 motorists in need on Friday, providing services such as changing tires, charging car batteries, dispensing fuel, calling for tows and transporting customers. 

“The evening rush hour was a challenge for drivers as the ongoing snowfall and slow travel conditions put our fleet of snowplows in heavy traffic along with commuters,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said in the release. 

“We thank our customers for their patience and remind them to travel with caution tonight as we continue to battle falling snow.”

Friday, 6:30 p.m. 

As of 6:08 p.m., there were six inches of snow on the ground in Downers Grove, according to the National Weather Service

Friday, 6 p.m. 

Don't drive if you don't have to. Expect a slow go of it, especially on the highways and tollways. Some roads have been plowed better than others, but you can't see the lane lines on any. Be careful on turns, where I saw the most sliding occurring. 

Friday, 3 p.m. 

Update from the village: 

"Some additional information has been shared with me.  Our full time staff has been plowing since noon, and we have two 12 hour shifts scheduled to start this afternoon.  The Village has focused efforts on keeping the main arterials clear with salting of intersections, hills, and curves.  Major arterials are the first priority in snow removal operations, with creating passable lanes on secondary roads and pushing back court openings following."

Friday, 2:30 p.m. 

The has canceled all activities after 3 p.m. except KIDZ Squad. The park district encourages parents to leave work early to pick up their children by 6 p.m. 

has canceled all after-school activities tonight. 

Friday, 2 p.m. 

An accident has been reported at Route 53 and 75th Street, according to Kate Andris, management analyst for the . 

No other details were available at this time. 

has canceled all after-school activities for tonight. 

Friday, 1:45 p.m. 

SPOTTED: The first snow plow down my road in Darien. 

As of 1:30 p.m., readers posted they hadn't seen snow plows down their streets yet. 

1:30 p.m. Dawn Flowers Gratzke I live and work in Woodridge and haven't seen one snow plow yet!!

12:45 p.m. Laura Richards Same here....Just got back from Meijer and the roads are pretty messy....

The village always focuses on major roads before plowing residential streets, according to Jack Knight, management analyst for the village. 

Friday, 1 p.m. 

Traffic is moving slower along some of Woodridge's major roads, according to Mapquest. A reader reported this accident on our Facebook page

Susan Janettas Visconti Do be careful if you're driving--I know it sounds like the obvious thing to say but it is slick out there. I was driving slow and was still sliding. A car ran off the road on 75th street by Best Buy and went into the ditch landing nearly sideways.

Testaments from the road: 

12:50 p.m. 

@Skilling: Snow's cut visibilities to 1/4 mi O'Hare, Aurora, Elmhurst, W Chicago & RFD indicating a heavy rate of snowfall. 1" down DeKalb/Schaumburg.

12:30 p.m. 

@bobafettrules: just got of I-55 SB. Went from Cass to BBrook. Took 8 mins at 40mph. Saw no plows or accidents. Road not bad. Didn't slide

Darien Patch Editor Lauren Williamson @DarienILPatch: Just drove to Eisenhower Jr. High School. Weather changed from light snow to white out en route. Drive safe! 

Friday, 11:30 a.m. 

Remember it is unlawful to park your car on the street when there are two or more inches of snow on the ground. 

Advice from the village on how to prevent freezing pipes: 

"To prevent freezing water, insulate pipes and seal all leaks around openings to the outside. When temperatures drop below freezing, it is recommended that you leave an inside faucet dripping to keep water moving. Leave cupboard doors open to warm pipes and keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees. Should a pipe freeze, thaw it gradually. Never use an open flame! Should a pipe burst, shut off your water supply and call a plumber."

Friday, 9 a.m. 

There are no reported snow closings in Woodridge for Friday, according to the Emergency Closing Center. There is also no indication on the or websites that after-school activities will be canceled for today. 

O'Hare has already canceled 280 flights in anticipation of the storm, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

Thursday, 10:30 p.m. 

Five to eight inches of snow are now possible during Friday's snowstorm, according to the National Weather Service

The winter storm watch has been upgraded to a winter storm warning, which will be in effect from 9 a.m. Friday until midnight. 

Most of the snow is still expected to fall during the afternoon hours, making for a treacherous Friday afternoon commute. 

Thursday, 4:10 p.m. 

Friday's snowstorm will start a little later than previously reported. 

There is now a winter storm advisory from 9 a.m. Friday to midnight. Snow will develop mid- to late morning Friday and continue throughout the day. The heaviest of the snow is still expected Friday afternoon. 

Three to six inches of snow is possible. 

Thursday, 2:30 p.m. 

The Tollway is prepared for Friday's snowfall, the system reported in a news release Thursday. 

The Tollway "is preparing to mobilize its full fleet of 183 snowplows" and its snow operations center will open early Friday with more than 200 staff and supervisors per shift to ensure roads are clear. 

All temporary lane closures will be cancelled from Friday to Saturday. 

In you encounter trouble: 

"Call *999 for roadway assistance.  Should you encounter car trouble and require roadway assistance, try to move your car to a safe position on the shoulder or in an untraveled area.  Report stranded vehicles by dialing *999 from a cellular phone.

Stay in your vehicle, H.E.L.P. is on the way.  During continued periods of extremely cold weather, the Illinois Tollway operates a "Zero Patrol" to supplement the Illinois State Police District 15 and the Tollway's Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H.E.L.P.) vehicles.  

These patrols enable us to cover the entire 286-mile Tollway system 24 hours per day when temperatures and wind chills are at or below zero. Stay in your vehicle - it's the safest place to be if you are stranded." 

To check road conditions, you can call 1-800-TOLL-FYI (1-800-865-5394) to get recorded information updated every two hours or as conditions require during winter storms.

Thursday, 11 a.m. 

More than six inches of snow could be possible in  Friday, according to the National Weather Service. 

Snow is expected to start at daybreak Friday over northwest Illinois and continue throughout the morning continuing to northeast Illinois. The heaviest snow can be expected Friday afternoon into the evening, with an inch of snow possible per hour. 

The snow will taper off to light flurries Saturday morning. 

Very cold temperatures will weaken the effectiveness of salt, according to the NWS, which will make it harder to keep roads clear of snow and ice. 

Thursday, 10:50 a.m. 

Below are some safety tips for driving in the snow or ice from the Weather Channel:

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don't pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

If your rear wheels skid...

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator.
  2. Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they're sliding right, steer right.
  3. If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  4. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  5. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal.

If your front wheels skid...

  1. Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don't try to steer immediately.
  2. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in "drive" or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck...

  1. Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  2. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  3. Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  4. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  5. Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
  6. Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner's manual first — it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you're in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.
Patch Sucks February 24, 2012 at 02:36 AM
WHY the %$&# is this story being posted on February 23rd? ANOTHER DISPLAY OF HOW HORRBILE PATCH IS. THIS IS NOT A REAL NEWS SOURCE. GET IT OFF AOL!
Melissa Sersland (Editor) February 24, 2012 at 02:57 AM
As you can see, the story was posted Jan. 19. Also, please abide by our privacy policy which requires you to use your first and last name as your username. http://woodridge.patch.com/privacy

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