Frigid temperatures to come to McHenry County

Wind chill advisory for county in effect Sunday through Tuesday

After a fresh layer of snow came down on Saturday, people can start preparing for the frigid temperatures that are expected later Sunday.

By Saturday evening, 4.6 inches of snow had fallen in Crystal Lake, according to the National Weather Service. A winter weather advisory remains in effect until noon Sunday.

Weather Service Meteorologist Matt Friedlein said 3 to 7 inches of snow is expected to fall throughout the county through the early afternoon on Sunday.

That snow may start to blow around Sunday as brisk winds of 15 to 30 mph could lead to drifting snow, which would reduce visibility, the weather service said.

As the sun sets, the temperatures are expected to drop. A wind chill warning is set to be in effect from 6 p.m. Sunday through noon Tuesday.

The weather service is forecasting a prolonged period of dangerously cold wind chills from Sunday night through Tuesday morning.

Wind chills are expected to be 30 below zero, with wind chills of 40 to 50 below zero expected late Sunday into Monday afternoon.

With the expected cold weather, some schools on Saturday began canceling Monday classes, including Fox Lake District 114, Lotus School in Spring Grove and Stanton School in Fox Lake.

In expectation of the frigid temperatures, the Lake in the Hills Public Works Department gave tips on how people can protect their water service.

People can allow a trickle of water to run continuously at faucets to keep water moving through pipes. Residents also can eliminate drafts and other sources of cold air near water pipes; repair or close any openings, particularly in garages and attics; maintain a temperature of at least 55 degrees in a building; and drain water lines leading to outside faucets, including disconnecting any garden hoses.

The Lake in the Hills Public Works department also
recommended installing pipe insulation to protect vulnerable pipes from freezing, and putting Styrofoam over water meters.

Plumbing in older buildings often is more susceptible to freezing because of reduced insulation in crawl spaces, shallower service lines and less efficient distribution of heat, the village said in a news release.

To help drivers who may become stranded on the road, the Illinois Tollway plans to double the number of Zero Weather Road Patrols, according to a news release. The patrols, which are expected to run through Wednesday, provide roadway assistance when temperatures or sustained wind chills are below zero degrees.

The 24-hour Zero Weather Road Patrols search for drivers stranded in disabled vehicles and respond to calls that come into the motorist assistance hotline, Illinois Tollway dispatch or Illinois State Police District 15.

Stay safe

Traveling tips from the Illinois Tollway to keep safe during dangerously cold weather:

• Make sure your cellphone is fully charged before heading out.

• Be sure your tires are properly inflated.

• Keep your gas tank at least half full.

• Keep a cold weather safety kit in your car that includes gloves, boots, blankets, road flares, water, a flashlight with fresh batteries, jumper cables, first-aid kit, basic tool kit, hot packs, bottled water and nonperishable snacks such as granola or candy bars.  

• Stranded motorists should turn on their emergency lights and remain in their vehicles until help arrives.  

• Cellphone users should call *999 to reach roadway assistance or to report other motorists pulled over on the side of the road.

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