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A look at ‘snotes’ –­ dispatches by Elgin snow command

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Updated: January 24, 2013 6:26AM



ELGIN — During the course of the Thursday-Friday snowstorm, the city’s snow command provided The Courier-News with periodic updates — or “snotes,” if you will — related to their efforts.

Some of the material would wind up in a newly adopted internal social networking platform called Chatter in which snow command, public safety and public works workers could communicate with each other in an almost instantaneous manner. That material also would be used by the city to update the public through its own Internet offerings.

Here’s what the updates said.

From interim public services director Dan Rich shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday:

There is a continued threat of a winter storm. However, from the Elgin area perspective this one should be a bust. The storm track is to the west and to the north. The storm will move through Elgin quickly with a high liquid equivalent but a relatively low snowfall total.

Wintry mix will begin early. Expect snow accumulation sticking to paved surfaces just prior to 8 p.m. Snowfall totals are predicted to be less than three inches. I’ll stick with my much earlier two-inch plowable prediction. This will be a wet and heavy snow that will quickly dissipate with proper chemical application.

The timing of the storm seems to have pushed back a bit which will help during the rush hour. Crews are scheduled to report as previously planned at 5 p.m. A holdover crew will be in after the ice and snow has been cleared to make certain that the high winds that are on the back end of the storm do not cause any additional problems for the morning rush hour.

Be thankful that we’re not in Verona, Wisconsin, which just reported 16 inches on the ground.

First update From Public Works Supervisor Tom Migatz at 5:50 p.m.:

Twenty-three drivers rolled out onto their routes. By 4 p.m., the rain was changing into snow, and by 5:30 p.m. a light coating of snow was accumulating on unpaved surfaces.

By 5:30 p.m. the pavement temperature was dropping to mid-30s, so drivers were instructed to watch for development of slick spots prior to accumulation.

Update Two from Migatz, at 9 p.m.:

Some power outages were reported in a few areas including the near west side and in the College Green subdivision. A couple of traffic signal outages were reported in conjunction with those issues. ComEd has responded, and the College Green concerns have been addressed.

Update from the city’s Facebook page, at 10:45 p.m.:

Currently pavement temps are hovering just below freezing, light snow still blowing as gusts continue. Elgin Police Department reports a few power outages in near west and College Green neighborhoods. Drivers reporting few problems although four signalized intersections have been affected by outages.

Update from Public Works Superintendent Colby Basham, at 4 a.m. Friday:

The shift changed at 4 a.m. Although the storm didn’t amount to much in the way of snow accumulation in Elgin, the winds are strong out of the north and the temps have dropped, which is creating some isolated icing and drifting. Neighboring communities, like Lake in the Hills, Bartlett, etc. that did not salt over the evening have a great deal of ice on their pavement, but as usual, Elgin streets are largely in great shape. The downtown crew is coming in at 5 a.m. to salt the public sidewalks and we have someone salting the Highlands, Bowes Creek and Hawthorne Hills parking lots. Overall, I do not see this as being a sustained effort and expect crews to finish by 10 a.m.

The following is the latest information that we have relative to weather conditions in Elgin:

CURRENT TEMP: RFD 23 ORD 30 DKB 23 DPA 27

TEMP FORECAST: MAX 28 AT 2PM MIN: 10-15 AT 7AM SAT

Relative Humidity: 6am: 75% 12am: 74% 6am: 76%

SKY COVER: CLEARING

PRECIPITATION: FLURRIES 20 percent

PRECIPITATION TIMES: CUR TO 8-10am

PRECIPITATION AMOUNT: TRACE

WIND DIRECTION & SPEED: NORTHWEST 20-30 G35-45 SLOWLY DECR.

WEATHER HAZARDS/WARNINGS: Winter Weather advisory Rockford and DeKalb Counties

REMARKS: snow totals were less than expected locally — although I tried to point out all week that it was a tricky forecast with the combination of a relatively warm ground and air temps. Rfd (Rockford) had 1.4 inches there were some 1-2 inch totals far north burbs. Only .2 officially At ORD.

I would expect that the city would send out one, possibly two updates today on Facebook as the crews finish their routes or if conditions warrant additional updates.



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