Dangerous Weather Force Road Closures Statewide; Motorists Still Urged to Stay Off Roads in Some Areas
Black Ice a Major Concern Due to Freezing Cold Temperatures
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
announced today that motorists should be mindful of dangerous
road conditions and black ice on roadways in areas throughout
Illinois. Motorists are also encouraged to stay home and avoid
travel until roads are safe. For those who have to travel, check
www.gettingaroundillinois.com for the latest road closures
and road conditions. Currently, dozens of Illinois roads
statewide are closed due to snow and ice. The severe weather has
also encouraged Amtrak to cancel a number of state supported
trains. To find out if your train was cancelled, visit
www.Amtrak.com or call
IDOT winter weather crews will continue to be on the job as
necessary to plow and salt to help ensure roads are clear and
passable. The majority of Illinois roads remain snow and ice
covered, making travel extremely dangerous.
Preliminary reports show that Winter Storm Ion produced up to
a foot of snow in some areas across the state. The National
Weather Service forecasts dangerously cold temperatures with
strong winds to cause extensive blowing and drifting snow
throughout the day. Historic cold temperatures are expected
throughout Illinois for the next several days with temperatures
ranging from 5 to 16 below zero, wind chills ranging from 40 to
45 degrees below zero and gusty west winds of 20 to 30 mph
“With the freezing temperatures, black ice is a major
concern,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L.
Schneider. “Black ice forms on roads that appear clear and the
unseen ice can be treacherous. We encourage motorists, if they
must travel, to take it slow when approaching intersections,
off-ramps, bridges and shady areas – all are prone to black ice.
Motorists should use extreme caution, buckle up, avoid
distractions and check
www.gettingaroundillinois.com for the latest winter road
conditions and road closures.
Currently, IDOT has 1,755 trucks assigned to snow duty across
the state, and nearly 3,700 full- and part-time employees
available to help ensure roads are clear and passable. IDOT will
continue to monitor the weather and plan accordingly.
Drivers are reminded to exercise caution when snow and ice
affect roadways, and IDOT advises travel only when absolutely
necessary during winter storms or when temperatures are
extremely low. During the severely cold weather expected, the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that Illinois
residents limit exposure to cold temperatures, dress in layers,
check in on others who may need additional assistance, keep
vehicles in good repair, and bring pets indoors.
For a list of warming centers in Illinois, visit
Other safety tips to remember:
Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow
operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them,
but they may not see you.
Allow extra time for travel during the
Watch out for black ice on roads that appear
clear but can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching
intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas - all are
prone to black ice, which is often invisible.
Always keep your gas tank at least
two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from
Do not travel during bad weather unless
absolutely necessary - if you do have to make a trip, check
the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel
Always carry an emergency car care kit that
contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield
washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material,
blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway
Always wear a safety belt.
Motorists are urged to check travel
conditions before any trip. You can get road condition
information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois
Tollway information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at
www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter
road conditions” icon.