ISP issues Travel Advisory ahead of Wednesday Winter Storms

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS – Illinois State Police officials are reminding motorists to take precautions while traveling as snow and ice are expected to cover roadways on Wednesday, February 24.

Trooper Tracy Lillard, of District 10, says troopers are monitoring the incoming winter storm as it moves into the area. As of noon on Tuesday, February 23, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch which is in effect from Wednesday morning until late Wednesday night. The snow is expected to develop late Tuesday night and continue into Wednesday night.

The heaviest snow is expected in Champaign, Douglas, Coles, Edgar and Vermilion Counties. Snow will also be falling in high amounts along Interstate 57 (Mattoon to Rantoul) and Interstate 74 (Champaign to Danville).

Strong northerly winds will also combine with snow to decrease visibility to near zero and may cause white out conditions causing travel to become dangerous during the height of the storm.

Due to the devastating impact winter weather has on driving conditions, ISP officials are urging motorists to drive with caution and to allow extra time to get to their final destinations. Those who get stranded while traveling should remain inside their vehicles and wait for first responders to arrive.

Motorists involved in accidents that do not require emergency assistance may file a crash report within 10 days at the nearest police station.

Illinois State Police also remind motorists to yield to emergency and snow removal equipment, citing Scott’s Law (Move Over Law). Drivers should reduce speed, change lanes if possible and proceed with due caution when approaching emergency vehicles.

Troopers also have released the following safety tips to keep in mind during winter weather:

  • Plan ahead and check the forecast - Determine if the trip is necessary during inclement weather.
  • Don’t Crowd the Plow! – remember, a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
  • Watch out for black ice – roads that appear clear may be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and shady areas – all are prone to black ice.
  • Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
  • Dress warmly for the weather—dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in anticipation of unexpected winter weather emergencies.
  • Make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
  • Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, nonperishable food and a first aid kit.
  • Always carry a charged cell phone.
  • Always wear a safety belt.  

Motorists can check on interstate road conditions by contacting IDOT at 1-800-452-4368 or online with the Getting Around Illinois website.

For a more in-depth forecast, check out Chief Meteorologist JC Fultz’ guide for what to expect from this storm.

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