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DeKalb County weather makes for difficult driving conditions Saturday night

The weather was docile through most of Saturday for much of DeKalb County, but it picked up around nightfall.

Sycamore Police Sgt. Joe Meeks hopes people make the right choices with driving in the snow and ice spreading through the county.

“We’re hoping everybody stays inside and off the roads,” Meeks said. “Hopefully everybody takes a hint from the weather and stays safe tonight.”

John Gardner, who was leaving Genoa Cafe at about noon, said he thought bad weather was imminent.

“It looks like the worst of it is yet to come,” Gardner said.

DeKalb Police Sgt. Keith Ehrke said between 5 p.m. to about 7 p.m. there were two minor crashes within city limits.

“They involved a car sliding into the other,” Ehrke said about both crashes. “One car was stopped and the other was attempting to stop.”

He said DeKalb’s Street Department was doing a good job. He said they were out all Friday night and were out all Saturday helping to clear the roadways.

“To only have two (accidents) is phenomenal for us,” he said about the drivers in the inclement weather.

After the National Weather Service predicted inclement weather during the past two days, Jake Petr, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Chicago, said Saturday afternoon that the driving conditions would worsen throughout Saturday.

“For the most part (the weather has) been on track,” Petr said.

He said the expectation was there would be higher totals of snowfall to the north and west of DeKalb. He said the DeKalb County area did get light icing Saturday morning and the weather service expects snow Saturday afternoon and into the evening.

“Anywhere in the county could see two to four inches of snow,” Petr said. “The northern part of the county, which includes Genoa, Sycamore, Kingston and Kirkland should see more snowfall.”

Dina Ajeti, who works at Genoa Cafe, said just before noon that the restaurant – which is usually open until 3 p.m. on Saturday – was closing early because of the impending precipitation.

“We don’t want to be here when it starts snowing,” she said. “And we want everyone to get home safe.”

Steve Schleplinberg was carrying a bag of road salt and tossing handfuls of salt throughout his driveway early Saturday afternoon.

Schleplinberg, who lives on Illinois 23, just south of Derby Line Road in Genoa, said he was trying to prevent damage.

He said he was just doing preventative maintenance before any inclement weather hits.

“The snow’s coming,” Schleplinberg said. “It’ll be here.”

Despite the little weather that fell on DeKalb County through Saturday morning, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Pettengell said a few cars wound up in ditches.

“Four total went into ditches,” he said.

Pettengell said speed is a consideration in those four instances as it is in any such accident.

He advised drivers to drive slower on the slick roads.

“If you take your time and drive slow, you’ll be able to get where you need to go,” Pettengell said. “Plan ahead. We’re looking for weather conditions to deteriorate as the storm gets going.”

There were no additional incidents has Saturday turned to Saturday night, according to DeKalb County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Johnson.

Johnson said he drove from DeKalb to Waterman and he saw a lot of drivers who were moving slow and of those, a lot of them had their flashers on.

He’s glad people were aware there was a chance for bad weather Saturday.

“I think the warning of the weather today kept people home, which is a good thing,” Johnson said.

Sycamore Police Sgt. Steve Watry said Sycamore Police had responded to zero crashes as of Saturday afternoon.

“Knock on wood,” Watry said in the hopes that no one would end up in a crash the rest of the day.

He wanted to warn residents to be prepared for some slick spots at a few intersections and in a few parking lots in Sycamore. He also hopes people drive cautiously.

Meeks said the day shift made out well and there were no crashes on Sycamore’s roadways.

“Tonight we’ll keep an eye on things,” he said about the difficulties with weather.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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