DEKALB — Prepare for some disappointed trick-or-treaters because kids might need to wear their coats over their costumes Thursday.
Jake Petr, meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Chicago Forecast Office, said there is a band of rain extending from about 25 miles southeast of Rockford that extends to the Champaign area.
He said the wintry weather this time of year — before Halloween — is not a huge surprise.
“It’s not unheard of to see snow,” Petr said.
He said the normal time frame for the first measurable snow is about mid-November.
“We had a forecast in there for about 2-4 inches that extended from Naperville-Plainfield to the west a towards La Salle and that general area,” he said. The region includes the southern portion of DeKalb County.
The snow is forecast to fall mostly before 4 p.m., according to the weather service’s website, with a 30% chance continuing through to 7 p.m.
How prepared are the cities and DeKalb County? Fred Busse, director of public works for the City of Sycamore, said his staff almost has its entire fleet of trucks ready for snow removal. The fleet has both plows and spreaders to spread the salt.
It’s also still leaf pickup season, so there are a couple trucks for that, but if the city needs to it can attach the plows onto the leaf trucks.
“By the end of today, we’ll have all the trucks available to hit the roadways,” Busse said.
He said the wintry weather Wednesday morning doesn’t provide a new challenge.
“We’re used to picking up leaves in the morning and plowing snow at night,” he said. “If we anticipated a huge snowfall, within a matter of an hour we should have at least eight to10 trucks available.”
Andy Raih, director of streets and facilities for the City of DeKalb, said his staff is in a good spot and how it’s had salt hauled in and some salt from last year still remains.
“We have five to six salt trucks capable and the other trucks — leaf collection trucks — will be available to plow snow,” he said.
Raih said this time of year, the city is focused on loose leaf collection, but those leaf trucks can still plow snow. He said his staff anticipates with the flurries Wednesday and Thursday, the city will resume leaf pick-up Monday.
Cortland Chief of Police Lin Dargis said so far there have been no complaints in terms of slick roads.
“The roads are pretty good,” he said. “The public works guys have been out there”
Nathan Schwartz, DeKalb County engineer who oversees the county’s highway department, said the county is in pretty good shape.
“It’s snowing but not a terrible amount,” he said “The pavement temperatures are warm enough that we don’t have to worry about snow accumulation.”
Schwartz said with the warm pavement the snow melts but soon, as temperatures get colder in the next few days, it might be a different story.
“It’s something we’ll have to keep our eye on,” he said.
Schwartz said the county will have to spread salt at the intersections and stop signs. He said currently the county has a bin full of salt and is all prepared to spread throughout the streets and sidewalks.
“Our trucks are available with spreaders on them, so we can spread the salt,” Schwartz said. “Our plows are quick attach plows. In a few minutes those can be hooked up and ready to go.”
He said Mother Nature is unpredictable.
“What I’ve learned over the years is never try to guess what Mother Nature is going to do,” he said. “To counter that point, we always anticipate all of the different possibilities that Mother Nature might surprise us with, so whatever does fall we’re prepared for it as it arrives.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle