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Speed is surprise of storm

Snowplow and salt truck drivers worked hours past midnight Thursday to clear the county’s roads and thoroughfares of a major snowfall.

The storm brought 4 to 6 inches of snow to much of the area, the National Weather Service said.

The winter storm came sooner and faster than some expected, and “once the trouble started, it was too late. Even our guys got caught up in some traffic last night,” Don Kopsell, the Nunda Township Highway Department commissioner, said Friday. “Nothing you can do when that happens.”

Meteorologists were surprised, too.

Looking back, the weather service’s Stephen Rodriguez said, “The big question yesterday was when the change from rain to snow was going to occur, and it happened much quicker than we anticipated. Everything evolved rapidly, and Lake and McHenry counties got the worst of it.”

Kopsell said he was surprised his department didn’t receive a call from the Illinois Department of Transportation for help in clearing Route 31 between Crystal Lake and McHenry, which was closed in late afternoon and early evening Thursday because drivers had trouble negotiating the hill.

“We have done that road before and Route 176 for the state. They reimburse us for that,” Kopsell said.

Calls to the McHenry County Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation were not returned Friday.

“Our guys had little problems around midnight with trees coming down,” Kopsell said. “But other than that, things went smoothly.

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