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Extreme cold weather prompts Monday cancellations

Published: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 1:22 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 1:21 p.m. CDT

The coldest weather in years will continue early this week, according to the Weather Channel.

West-northwest winds are predicted at more than 20 to 30 mph, causing wind chills approaching 50 below zero.

On Tuesday, winds are predicted to shift to west-southwest, and temperatures are expected to rise at least to the single digits. Temperatures in the 20s are expected by the end of the week.

With the extreme cold weather in the forecast, superintendents in the DeKalb, Sycamore and Genoa-Kingston school districts have canceled classes on Monday.

Although it was to be the first day back to school after the holiday break, Sycamore superintendent Kathy Countryman said it looks like the forecast is holding with below-zero temperatures and wind chills around 40 below zero.

"We spoke earlier [Sunday] afternoon and decided to make that call to give parents the opportunity to make other arrangements," Countryman said.

DeKalb superintendent Jim Briscoe said the closure message went out by phone and social media about before noon.

"I would not be surprised if all the schools in the area will be closed," Briscoe said.

He indicated the dangerously cold temperatures will be accompanied by strong winds, making travel hazardous.

"Normally we wouldn't make that call until the morning of school, but the forecast hasn't changed," Briscoe said.

He said Tuesday's forecast has improved, and they are continuing to monitor the weather reports.

DeKalb County Highway Department engineer Nathan Schwartz said his snowplow crews are in a constant battle with the blowing and drifting snow.

"With the snow we got last night and the extreme winds, we will have our trucks running pretty much around the clock to fight this blowing snow," Schwartz said.

According to the National Weather Service, strong northwest winds were to develop Sunday afternoon and evening which will lead to blowing and drifting snow and near-blizzard conditions. Wind chills of 30 to 50 below zero were expected Sunday night.

Local grocery stores have been busy with area residents preparing for the worst of the winter weather.

"We've been slammed with people stocking up on the staples – bread, milk, eggs," said Cori Buttrum, a manager at Piggly Wiggly, 600 Pearson Drive, Genoa.

Sycamore's Hy-Vee, at 2700 DeKalb Ave., has been busy all weekend, according to assistant manager J.J. Branecki.

"We've sold a lot of canned goods, a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and of course the normal stuff – milk, eggs, bread," Branecki said.

"Saturday was nuts, but I like being busy. It's good for business," Branecki said.

Other closings include: Hiawatha, Indian Creek, Kaneland and Hampshire school districts, Cornerstone Christian Academy, St. Mary in DeKalb, Kishwaukee College, Sycamore Child Care, Kishwaukee Education Consortium and Northern Illinois University. The DeKalb Clinic, DeKalb Public Library and Genoa Public Library District will be closed, along with DeKalb County buildings. The buildings and offices of the Sycamore Park District also will be closed.

Court has been cancelled for Monday. This includes the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, and 200 S 4th St., DeKalb City Municipal Building.

Local business and agency closings for Monday include Moxies, Sweet Dreams Desserts, Family Service Agency, DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau and Beth Fowler School of Dance in Genoa.

In addition, Waste Management of Illinois will delay Monday residential pickup for one day.

Road conditions

Road condition information is available 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.

Garbage pickup

Waste Management of Illinois will delay Monday residential pickup for one day.

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