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Snow snarls Wednesday traffic; more snow possible Saturday

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 7:34 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 11:28 p.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)
Frank Barrile of Cary sits in traffic Wednesday on North Harrison Street in Algonquin. Barrile said it took him 40 minutes to get to downtown Algonquin from Cary after traffic was diverted off Route 31.
(H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)
Traffic is snarled on Rt. 31 in Algonquin after an empty semi-truck could not get enough traction to get up the hill. IDOT plows and salt trucks arrived around 9:45 a.m. to clear the highway on Wednesday.

Snowfall that began Tuesday night and continued well into Wednesday morning snarled traffic and created hazardous driving conditions all over McHenry County.

Route 31 was closed in multiple areas in both Algonquin and the Crystal Lake area as snow covered streets and sent cars into ditches. On multiple occasions, semitrailers were unable to make it up the hill on Route 31.

The outlining areas of the county were especially dangerous as continued snowfall – along with blowing and drifting snow – covered the roads, according to McHenry County Department of Transportation Maintenance Superintendent Mark DeVries.

There were numerous reports of cars in ditches and slippery road conditions.

Snow totals showed 5 inches in Huntley, 4.7 inches in Bull Valley, 4 inches in Algonquin, 3.5 inches in Woodstock, 3.3 inches in Wonder Lake, 3.1 inches in Marengo and 3 inches in Harvard, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Krein.

There is a 30 to 40 percent chance for more snow Saturday and into Saturday night, but it’s too early to predict how much might fall, Krein said.

One weather certainty, Krein said, is that the temperature is going to drop. Wednesday night’s low was expected to be 5 to 10 degrees below zero, with wind chills at 15 to 25 below, Krein said. Thursday night will see similar lows, with low temperatures Friday also reaching close to zero degrees. Weekend lows will likely be in the single digits, with subzero temperatures possible Monday night.

“It’s going to stay significantly cold,” Krein said. “There’s no melting potential at all.”

With temperatures expected to drop below zero, DeVries said it will be critical to get the roads plowed Wednesday to prevent continued road hazards throughout the week.

“We’ll get the roads as clean as we can before temperatures start dropping,” he said.

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