What schools are closing, road conditions
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The Springfield area was expected to get close to eight inches of snow Monday accompanied by single-digit temperatures and wind gusts of up to 25 MPH making for wind chills in the 20-below range.
The snow affected area travel and schools.
Alex Erwin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, said Springfield and Sangamon County remains under a winter storm warning until 6 a.m. Tuesday
What’s been canceled or closed?
The University of Illinois Springfield, Lincoln Land Community College and Lincoln College all went to remote learning on Monday. Midwest Technical Institute was not in session Monday because of Presidents Day.
Lincoln Land Community College announced all of its facilities would also be closed Tuesday with classes operate remotely. Students with face-to-face classes should check Blackboard/Canvas for instructions.
District 186 schools will be conducting remote learning only for all students on Tuesday.
There will be no in-person hybrid learning for A-day learners. Tuesday will be a remote learning day, and not an emergency snow day. Remote attendance will be taken and students will be expected to engage in synchronous and/or asynchronous learning, as assigned.
The SCOPE child care program will be closed.
District 186 will be serving meals remotely from 7 to 11 a.m. at Springfield, Southeast and Lanphier high schools as well as Franklin and Washington middle schools.
There will be no school in the Auburn school district Tuesday due to the extreme weather. It is a traditional snow day and will be made up at the end of the school calendar, according to the district’s website.
Sangamon Valley schools (Illiopolis, Niantic and Harristown) will go to remote learning Tuesday as will Ball-Chatham schools.
Jacksonville public schools and Routt Catholic High School and Our Saviour’s Grade School, also in Jacksonville, are closed Tuesday.
Also closed Tuesday are Springfield Catholic grade schools, Calvary Academy Williamsville-Sherman schools, Riverton schools and Edinburg
How much snow will fall?
The winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday with six to eight inches of snow predicted. Counties in that warning area include Sangamon, Christian, Menard, Macoupin, Montgomery and Greene.
A winter weather advisory is in effect for Cass, Morgan and Logan counties.
Light snow began falling in the Springfield area in the early morning hours of Monday, with the brunt of the snowfall–about four to six inches–falling Monday afternoon.
A Wednesday storm system was thought to have more of an impact south of Interstate 70, Erwin said. There could be minor accumulations in the Springfield area at the time, Erwin said.
Lincoln hit another record cold high of 4 degrees on Sunday, eclipsing the old record of 13 in 1943. The city also tied a record low temperature of minus-6 Sunday. The old record was from 2020.
Lincoln also set a pair of temperature records Saturday.
A map of Sangamon County roads showed all roads either covered in snow and ice or mostly covered in snow and ice.
Menard County sheriff’s deputies were reporting that east/west roads are drifting shut in some areas. Motorists are also advised to use caution traveling on State Park Road where cars are sliding down the hill onto Route 97.
Illinois State Police District 9 units responded to several crashes in the surrounding Springfield area along Interstates 55 and 72.
Motorists were urged to use extreme caution if traveling through the area and allow extra time to get to a destination.
Taylorville Police reported a number of slide-offs, but no serious accidents, said Chief Dwayne Wheeler. There were up to two-hour waits for tow trucks, he said.
Sangamon Mass Transit District was asking passengers “to prepare for the possibility of suspended service Tuesday morning.”
Snow emergency declared
The City of Springfield has declared a snow emergency continuing through 7 a.m. Friday. The declaration means the public is required to remove cars parked along snow emergency routes.
“It allows us to more efficiently remove the snow,” said Nate Bottom, director of the Office of Public Works, about the snow emergency routes.
Sangamon County declared a Level 2 winter weather emergency late Monday afternoon until further notice.
County spokesman Jeff Wilhite said motorists are encouraged to stay off county roads unless it is absolutely necessary.
Under the Level 2 emergency, roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and maybe icy. There are areas where the roadways may be partially closed by the elements.
The Villages of Southern View and Jerome also declared snow emergencies through 7 a.m. Friday. The City of Jacksonville was under a snow emergency until at least Wednesda
Bottom said he anticipated the backshift drivers plowing most of the overnight into early Tuesday.
“We’re definitely focusing our attention on the major arterials and then we’ll move into the secondary roads,” Bottom said.
Crews were using salt sparingly on trouble spots, Bottom added. While salt is less effective with the colder temperatures, it is a lighter snow that crews were able to push off more easily, he said.
With the winds, snow has been drifting on Lenhart Road and Bissell Road “so we need to make sure we’re clearing those areas as efficiently as possible,” Bottom said.
Plenty of salt
Public Works has used approximately 4,500 tons of its 6,000 ton allotment, though that cane be added to, Bottom said. Both of its salt domes are about three-quarters full, he said.
Motorists are reminded to watch for snowplow crews and give them space to do their work. Residents and private snow removal crews clearing sidewalks and parking lots are prohibited by city ordinance from plowing the snow into the streets.
During a severe winter storm, residents can call the Office of Public Works to report any problems or concerns at (217) 789-2246.
Residents and businesses need to make an effort to clear their sidewalks as a safety precaution, according to the city.
An ordinance cites that all sidewalks adjacent to their property should be cleared of snow by 10 a.m. on every morning of a snow event. Residents or businesses could be subject to a $250 fine for refusal to comply with the city ordinance.
Any concerns or complaints regarding sidewalk obstructions should be sent to the City’s Housing Division at (217) 789-2167.
Contact Steven Spearie: 622-1788, [email protected], twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.