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Breaking: Sheriff warns DeKalb County roads, highways still dangerous

November 26, 2018

Now that the snow has stopped and the wind has calmed, rough passages throughout the county are becoming more passable, according to DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott.

That said, if you don’t have to go anywhere, especially outside DeKalb and Sycamore city limits, don’t.

“There was just so much snow so fast, and combined with the wind, that it’s made for some really bad conditions,” he said.

According to a news release from his office sent at 1:30 a.m., 80 vehicles were in the ditch at that point, and that three crashes had resulted in personal injuries, two in property damage.

In one case, a GMC pickup truck driven by John Ryan, 51, of the 700 block of Oakbrook Road in Newark, was westbound about 6 p.m. Sunday on state Route 38 east of Virginia Road when he crossed the center line because of snow and hit three other vehicles, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Maria Vazquez, 39, of the 1700 block of Sunflower Drive in DeKalb, who was wearing her seat belt as passenger in a Honda SUV, was taken to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital with minor injuries; part of Route 38 was closed for about 45 minutes.

The SUV’s driver, as well as the drivers of a Pontiac Sedan and a Chevrolet SUV that were crashed into were wearing their seat belts and unhurt, according to the release.

Tow services and deputies continue to respond to new reports, and Scott said at one point a snow plow and a wrecker ended up in a ditch on U.S. Route 30 on the southern edge of the county.

Route 30 goes east and west, of course, and such roads are in the worst shape, even though plows have persistently gone through.

“East-west is still the roughest,” Scott said, “but many north-south roads are in bad shape, too.”

He said if you truly have to travel, state Route 64 west of Glidden Road should be avoided, as several vehicles are in ditches. Similarly, state Route 38 east of Route 23 is a a problem, too. These routes aren’t closed, but should be avoided, if possible, Scott said.

With nearly a foot of fresh, wet, heavy snow blanketing DeKalb County, the county’s offices will be closed today, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

That means the sheriff’s office, the county clerk’s office, the health department, the courthouse – all county buildings will reopen Tuesday.

This batch of snow, which fell on the county between about 5:30 p.m. Sunday through 4 this morning, hours after the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning, is no lightweight – literally. It’s wet and heavy, so if it’s up to you to shovel it, be sure to pace yourself. Even though it’s cold out, stay hydrated, and if you get weak or lightheaded, take a break.

According to ComEd’s outage map at outage map.comed.com, there are 10 power outages in DeKalb affecting 757 customers, nine in Sycamore affecting 22 customers, and five in Genoa affecting five customers.

Far and away the biggest group of residents affected in DeKalb – 735 of them as of 7:30 a.m. – are west of the intersection of Glidden and Rich roads. According to the outage map, the damage is being assessed, so no time of power restoration has been established.

Superintendents throughout the county announced Sunday night their school districts will be closed today. Northern Illinois University Spokesman Joe King said Sunday night that courses would first begin at 10 a.m., but sent an update Monday morning stating the university will be closed until operations resume at midnight tonight.

Monday classes at Rockford are canceled. Naperville, Hoffman Estates and Lorado Taft will remain open and operate with a regular schedule on Monday, King said.

If you’ve got a ticket on your vehicle in DeKalb, it’s likely because once more than two inches of snow fall, a snow emergency is declared so plows can properly clear the roads. The city asks that residents do their part in clearing their sidewalks, according to a post on its Facebook page.

Other closures and schedule changes:

• The Sycamore Park District announced in a news release that its Pathway Fitness track at the community center, 480 Airport Road, will be closed overnight and reopen at 7 a.m. Monday. The district offices will open at 10 a.m.

• The Kishwaukee Family YMCA, usually open at 5 a.m., will open at 9 a.m., and no classes will be offered before noon. While the Y typically offers its No School, No Problem program when schools are out of session, that will not be the case Monday because of the delay in opening, CEO Mark Spiegelhoff said.

• Family Service Agency and its Club 55s for seniors also will be closed, development director Sarah Slavenas said.

• DeKalb City Hall, 200 S. Fourth St., will first open at 10 a.m. Monday, and Lakeshore Recycling Systems will not collect garbage and recycling Monday, pushing back all collections one day this week, according to a post on the city of DeKalb Facebook page.

• The DeKalb Public Library will be closed all day Monday, according to a news release. A release from the Sycamore Public Library says it will open first at 1 p.m. Monday.

• Elder Care Services, the Children’s Learning Center and Creative Kids Connection, and We Care Pregnancy Center in DeKalb, and Northestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab and Salem Lutheran Church in Sycamore, are all closed today.

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