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Local

Preparations made Thursday as area braced for heavy snowfall

Preparations made Thursday as area braced for heavy snowfall

DeKALB – On a typical winter day, Eduardo Samano, an employee at Lowe’s, 2050 Sycamore Road, said the store might sell one snowblower.

But with a winter storm warning in effect and the forecast of up to a foot of snow by Friday evening, Samano said 10 were sold over a five-hour period Thursday.

“We’ve had a lot of calls, all of them about snowblowers,” Samano said.

Other residents found themselves stocking up on food and water in case the weather leaves them stuck at home. After hearing the weather report on TV, Amelia Medina of DeKalb decided to buy some 5-gallon jugs of water and other groceries at Jewel-Osco for her and her family.

The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a winter storm warning through 9 a.m. Friday. A long-duration snow event is likely in portions of north-central and northeast Illinois, including DeKalb County.

Travel is expected to be very difficult to impossible at times, including during the Friday morning commute. Total snow accumulation of 7 inches to a foot is expected.

The NWS is encouraging travelers to have an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency.

In response, some organizations have rescheduled their Friday events. The Pay-It-Forward House in Sycamore had to change its BBQ All You Can Eat Benefit dinner from Friday to 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Sycamore VFW, 121 S. California St.

The Voluntary Action Center said in a news release that because Kishwaukee College classes are canceled Friday, its Red Line service will be canceled, as are MedVac and Meals on Wheels deliveries in rural areas. The release said a decision will be made in the morning on whether Meals on Wheels will be delivered in the DeKalb-Sycamore area, and updates will be posted on the agency’s Facebook page.

Northwestern Medicine announced these programs and offices will be closed Friday: the cardiac rehab and sleep labs at Kishwaukee and Valley West hospitals, the KishHealth Physician Groups in Sycamore, Genoa and Rochelle, and its urology office in Sandwich. A news release indicated that the Convenient Care center in Sycamore will be open.

Public works

DeKalb Public Works Director Tim Holdeman said plowing will begin on the main roads and snow routes once snow begins to accumulate.

“We will stay on those as a priority until we feel like we have a pretty good control of them,” Holdeman said. “Then, we will go to the residential streets.

“We’ll come back bright and early [Friday morning] for main and arterial work before rush hour traffic at 7 a.m. When everything stops, we will be out for another several hours cleaning up. Then we’ll go back into residentials doing curb to curb, spreading salt and so forth.”

Waste Management is suspending its operations Friday, Public Works management analyst Patrick DiDiana said. Anyone scheduled for trash pickup Friday will be moved to Saturday.

Schools

DeKalb School District 428 Superintendent Jamie Craven said Friday is a teacher’s institute day, so students already have the day off, but the administration will make a determination on athletic events and other activities about noon Friday.

With a high school girls basketball game against Yorkville already canceled, coaches have been asked to use discretion over the next couple of days, Craven added.

Sycamore School District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman said music and athletic programs for Thursday evening were canceled, and Sycamore schools will be closed Friday. As of Thursday night, the IHSA wrestling sectional Sycamore is hosting Friday evening still is on.

Although other DeKalb County school districts waffled, Hiawatha canceled Friday classes.

Northern Illinois University has canceled classes at all facilities Friday, as well. University offices at all locations also will be closed, and Friday’s Transfer Open House has been canceled.

However, the university will proceed with plans for evening events marking the 10-year anniversary of the fatal campus shooting Feb. 14, 2008. The Holmes Student Center also will be open.

NIU spokesman Joe King said that during winter months, all students, faculty and staff are urged to use caution and personal judgment in their travels to and from campus, and to dress appropriately for protection from cold temperatures and wind chill.

“NIU weather status information is regularly updated online,” King said.

Police and fire

The Sycamore and DeKalb police departments are reminding residents that parking is prohibited on city streets and in city lots when there is more than 2 inches of snow. This remains in effect for 24 hours after the snow reaches this height.

“When cars are parked on the street after a snowfall, our snowplow drivers spend extra time maneuvering around cars instead of moving the snow,” Sycamore Public Works Director Fred Busse said in a news release. “Having the streets clear of cars when we are plowing lets us plow the streets that much quicker.”

The Sycamore Police Department has posted messages and advisories on the city website and the department’s Facebook page. Emails and texts also have been sent to those registered with Sycamore’s Code Red notification system.

The DeKalb Fire Department also is asking residents to keep fire hydrants accessible by clearing snow around them. Snow should not be piled near fire hydrants when clearing a driveway or sidewalk.

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