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Traveling tips for snowy weekend

Central, southern areas of state expect heavy snow

The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning the public that a major winter storm with the potential for double-digit snowfall totals in the central and southern regions of the state will impact travel heading into the weekend.

“Before you head out into the storm, please ask yourself if this trip is necessary,” said Omer Osman, Illinois Department of Transportation deputy secretary.

“We are working hard to keep roads safe, but conditions will be challenging. If you do venture out, be prepared for increased travel times.”

The National Weather Service predicted the primary area of impact would be St. Louis Metro East, extending as far as Quincy and Effingham. Up to eight inches of snow was expected overnight Friday, with additional accumulation Saturday of four to five inches.

If possible, avoid driving during the storm. The heavier the traffic, the more challenging it is for snow plows to clear roads. If drivers encounter a plow during their travels, please slow down, increase driving distance and remain patient. Do not crowd the plow.

Tips if someone has to travel:

• Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to black ice, an invisible danger during some winter storms.

• Make sure the gas tank is full.

• Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first-aid kit, washer fluid and an ice scraper in the vehicle.

• Check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of one’s travel route and schedule.

• Carry a cell phone in case of emergency. Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.

• Always wear a seat belt, whether sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.

Four inches expected locally; Princeton, Spring Valley snow ordinances

National Weather Service forecasters are predicting that Bureau County will get around four inches of snowfall Saturday, starting after midnight and going throughout the day.

Princeton’s snow ordinance

No person can park any vehicle in Princeton on any public street, alley or municipally owned or leased parking lot in the city at anytime within 12 hours after a snowfall of three inches or more has occurred or until the snow has been removed, whichever shall occur sooner. Vehicles parked in violation of this section may be removed at the owner’s expense.

Spring Valley’s snow ordinance

Spring Valley’s ordinance states that no parking is allowed on marked snow routes after a snowfall of two or more inches and opposite of a driveway for eight hours or when the streets are cleared.

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