Responding to the weather

January 29, 2019

Area law enforcement and emergency responders are reminding community members to be cautious during hazardous weather.

Basically, go slow and stay warm.

Snow, strong winds and dangerously bitter cold means people face greater risk on the roads and the outdoors in general.

Fortunately, it seems like most in the community are heeding weather and travel warnings as emergency incidents are down from what was expected, Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker said.

“For the most part, things are fairly slower than we anticipated,” he said.

There were a few car crashes and medical calls related to the weather Tuesday, but it’s mostly business as usual, Booker said.

If people must travel, they should carry a fully charged cellphone and extra warm clothing in the car and make sure to communicate with others about their travels plans, he said.

Dixon Fire Chief Tim Shipman also said emergency calls are down, and hopefully it will stay that way, knock on wood.

The department responded to a weather-related call Saturday at 116 E. First St., which houses a few businesses and apartments, for a carbon monoxide alarm triggered by a boiler malfunction, and there were a few incidents where elderly community members needed medical assistance after falling on the ice.

They also went out to Raynor Garage Doors Monday after the roof of an old storage building collapsed, likely because of the amount of snow weighing it down.

City and county crews have worked to plow and treat the roads following the recent winter storm, but drivers should be cautious as the snow will continue to drift and, according to the city of Dixon, street salt is ineffective when it’s 15 degrees or below.

Wind chills could drop to as much as 60 below zero Wednesday.

“This is real, folks. If you’re going outside on Wednesday, proper protective clothing is a must,” the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office posted on social media.

“As with any hazardous winter driving, make sure you have a full gas tank, a fully charged cell phone, and emergency gear in your vehicle.”

Drivers should go slow, allow for extra braking time before stops and turns, and keep enough distance between cars.

Also, be especially careful on bridges and at intersections where ice is more likely to form.

Update hourly