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Travelers Cautioned as Winter Storm Approaches
By West Kentucky Star Staff
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - If you're planning on traveling in central and southern Illinois this weekend you may encounter significant travel delays due to an approaching winter storm that has the potential to dump more than eight inches of snow across the area.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning the public that the storm with the potential for heavy snowfall totals in the central and southern regions of the state will begin late Friday afternoon and extend into Saturday, impacting travel heading into the weekend.

To prepare, IDOT says the agency has been pretreating roads and bridges susceptible to icing, with plowing operations likely to being later today and through the weekend.

The National Weather Service is predicting snow to begin falling in the eastern part of the state between 4 and 6 p.m. Friday. The primary area impacted is St. Louis Metro East, extending as far as Quincy and Effingham. Up to eight inches of snow are expected during the overnight hours, with additional accumulation Saturday of four to five inches.

If possible, avoid driving during the storm. The heavier the traffic, the more challenging it is for snow plows to clear roads. If you encounter a plow during your travels, please slow down, increase your driving distance and remain patient. Do not crowd the plow.

IDOT offered the following safety tips for those that have to travel:

• Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to black ice, an invisible danger during some winter storms.

• Make sure your gas tank is full.

• Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first-aid kit, washer fluid and an ice scraper in your vehicle.

• Check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.

• Carry a cellphone in case of emergency. Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.

• Always wear a seat belt, whether you're sitting in the front seat or back seat. It's the law.

For regular updates on statewide road conditions, visit GettingAroundIllinois.com. You can also follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

Some areas in western Kentucky could also see some minor snowfall accumulations Friday night, but travel impacts are not expected to be as severe.

Published 10:16 AM, Friday Jan. 11, 2019
Updated 05:36 PM, Friday Jan. 11, 2019

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