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Daily Journal
     February 1, 2022      #26-32 KDJ

Kankakee County could see over a foot of snow in

Lee Provost

Kankakee County residents, get your snow shovels and snow blowers ready.

For the first time in the 2021-22 winter, a major snowstorm is headed this way, according to forecasters. The storm is anticipated to be capable of dumping 12 to 18 inches of snow from late Tuesday to late Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Brian Leatherwood, a meteorologist with the NWS in Romeoville, said this weather event will likely begin midday Tuesday with light rain as temperatures are expected to be in the mid 30s to low 40s, but a cold front will drop temperatures and turn moisture into snow by late Tuesday.

A band of heavy snow, basically engulfing Kankakee County as well as Iroquois, Ford and portions of Livingston counties, will bring the first punch to the region and deposit 6 to 12 inches, NWS predicts.

The second punch of the weather system is expected to hit the area late Wednesday and dump another 3 to 6 inches before pushing through the region by midday Thursday.

It will be the region’s first major snow this winter and will put area road maintenance crews on 24-hour shifts in an attempt to keep area roads safe.

Leatherwood anticipates high temperatures dropping to the mid- to upper-20s for the next several days, meaning the expected snow will be around for a while.

The second phase of the storm is not yet nearly as defined, he noted, which means predicting snowfall and its expected path is far from certain.

The weather systems are subject to change, making it difficult to forecast the second portion of the two-event system.

“The first portion of the storm people will easily see more than 6 inches [in Kankakee County],” he said. “I believe some locations could see up to 10 inches.”

Translation: Get your back loosened up for snow removal work.

Speaking of work, area public works crews are on alert and that means if the anticipated snow arrives as predicted, trucks will be plowing roads and applying salt beginning late Tuesday and likely working through the weekend.

Mark Rogers, Kankakee County engineer, said the county road crew will likely be working in nine-person, 12-hour shifts on the county’s 265 miles of roads.

“We will deal with what comes. We are as ready as we can be,” he said, noting the two shifts are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“You never know what will arrive. I learned years ago that you deal with what you get,” he said.

Bradley Public Works Director Terry Memenga said crews were completing final maintenance on the road-clearing fleet and he had 350 tons of road salt at his disposal.

He noted because this is expected to be an extended weather event, it makes it a little more challenging for the crew as hours will be long throughout much of the week.

Memenga anticipated have 4 to 6 trucks on the village’s 75 miles of roads by midday Tuesday.

“Our first charge is keeping the main roads clear and then working our way back to the secondary roads,” he said. “We won’t be clearing curb-to-curb for a while. My advice to people is to stay home. Let us clear the roads.”

In Manteno, public works director Jim Hanley said the approximate 30 miles of roadway the village maintains will be cleared by six large plows and seven pickup trucks with plows.

The regular 11-person crew will be aided by call-ins of part-time staff.

Like other departments, Manteno will be working 12-hour shifts. Hanley had one simple piece of advice for residents: “If you don’t have to park on the street, please don’t.”

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