Update: Lake County Roads Are Clear, But Drivers Cautioned to Stay Off
If you have to go out, County asks to wait until after 5 p.m.
In an e-mail sent out recently from Susan Gravenhorst, Lake County Board and Forest Preserve Commissioner, she wrote:
Lake County Board Chairman David Stolman has proclaimed a State of Disaster in Lake County, and officials are asking residents to avoid driving through 5 p.m. today (Feb. 1).
The Lake County Division of Transportation reports the county road network is officially open, but is asking that all unnecessary travel be postponed until after 5 p.m. this evening. Many roads and streets remain snow-covered and impassable, with drifts of four to six feet common around the county. The most accurate road closure information is available at www.lakecountypassage.com.
In several locations across the county, multiple vehicles became stranded on or along roads and were subsequently buried by drifting snow. Rescuers have used a combination of four-wheel drive vehicles, heavy construction equipment, specialty fire vehicles, snow plows, and snowmobiles to find and remove people trapped in their vehicles, and more than 200 people have been moved to warmth and safety in several temporary shelter facilities.
Plow trucks and heavy equipment from various departments and agencies are working diligently to clear primary roads and will then move to secondary routes and streets. Multiple plow trucks, squads, and other response vehicles also became trapped during the height of the storm, and recovery of that equipment is still underway.
Stranded vehicles are being towed off of roads by contract towing companies with coordination through the Sheriff's Office, so that roads can be plowed and normal traffic flow can be restored.
Snow reports from across Lake County average between 19 and 20 inches of snow, and wind gusts of over 50 mph were reported. No significant precipitation is expected for the next several days, but bitterly cold temperatures and steady wind will lead to wind chills colder than 25 degrees below zero tonight.
Earlier in the day, Lake County officials declared a State of Emergency in Lake County and closed some roads, urging residents to stay home unless travel was absolutely necessary.