Illinois, Indiana officials warn of treacherous commute as winter storm bears down on area
CHICAGO - As a wintry mix heads our way, state transportation officials warn that incoming rain, sleet and snow will lead to messy conditions for those behind the wheel throughout the day Thursday.
"Obviously a big concern – especially for those who are driving in the overnight hours – is that even though the roadway may look wet, it could very well be very slick," said Maria Castaneda, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
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Castaneda, on Wednesday, said salt trucks and plows are ready to roll, but asks that drivers also stay alert and plan ahead.
"What I would highly suggest, if you are needing to head out there is to look and see what are conditions not only where you are, but where you are planning to travel to," said Castaneda.
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In Indiana, Cassandra Bajek with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) said heavy rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning will be one of their biggest challenges.
"It really puts us behind on keeping the roadways clear because we can’t really do anything until that rain stops," said Bajek. "Take it slow out there, assume there is ice underneath the snow."
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Bajek asks that drivers buckle up for a treacherous commute – potentially through Friday.
"It’s going to be impactful tomorrow, through the evening, and Friday morning as well," said Bajek.
Bridges, overpasses and ramps will be the first to freeze.
In addition to leaving room for plows, officials suggest packing an emergency kit in your vehicle – including blankets, hand warmers, extra socks and a shovel.