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Storm system causes hazardous driving

Published: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 10:16 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Cassandra Dowell)
A flood advisory is in effect until 3 p.m. this afternoon. Rising temperatures are melting snow, creating puddles on roadways. ABOVE: A car drives past a puddle on Sheridan Road in Waukegan.

GURNEE – Hazardous driving conditions for Lake County residents is predicted to continue through Friday morning. The county is expected to experience a large and complicated storm system that will bring a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain, according to a village of Gurnee news release.

A flood advisory is in effect until 3 p.m. this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Precipitation late morning will likely include both snow and rain, which will produce the potential for significant snowmelt and minor localized flooding this afternoon, as well as potential thunderstorms with strong, damaging winds with gusts of up to 50 mph possible this evening, the news release said.

During driving flood conditions, the Lake County government advises that "six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles.Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups."

Strong winds could cause some trees to topple, leading to scattered power outages, the Gurnee news release said.

Dropping temperatures tonight will create ice on roadways and surfaces. The village recommends that residents use Lake County PASSAGE, www.lakecountypassage.com, for updates on road conditions. Gurnee Public Works employees are out with plows, and public works director Tom Rigwood was unavailable for comment this morning.

The village of Gurnee provided the following safety tips during this winter weather event:

Drive Safely

If a roadway is flooded, never attempt to drive through water on a road. Water can be deeper than it appears, and water levels can rise quickly. Wade through floodwaters only if water is not flowing rapidly and only in water no higher than your knees. Attempt to get to higher ground, but be careful because manhole covers can be off. If your car in flood water, do not attempt to push it out. Please seek higher ground.

Roadways are expected to be icy as temperatures drop this evening. Use extra caution when driving and allow additional time to reach your destination.

Minimize local flooding by clearing nearby storm sewer inlets:

The village is requesting that residents search for and clear ice and snow from any storm sewer inlets near their home.  These inlets allow snow melt-off and rain water to be safely carried away from homes, businesses and other structures and keep streets clear of localized flooding. However, when blocked, their ability to collect and transport water is dramatically reduced. Residents with any questions or who see pooling water over 6 inches deep should contact the Public Works Department at 847-599-6800. Residents who need assistance finding their inlet can refer to the village's interactive storm sewer map for guidance (inlets are indicated by solid green squares).

Protect your home from flooding

Ensure your sump pump is working correctly by pouring water into the pit. Test backup sump pump batteries. Verify that the sump pump discharge pump outside of your home is not frozen, clogged, or blocked in any way. Also check your downspouts to be sure those are free of snow, ice or other debris. If your sump is not discharging properly outside of your home or if your downspouts are blocked, the water will redivert towards your house, causing potential flooding within your home.

Be prepared for high winds

As with any strong storm, the potential for high winds can cause damage to loose items outside of your home. Bring those items indoors or tie them down (i.e., trampolines and patio furniture).

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