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Hazardous weather closes schools along with a number of area roads

School buses throughout Fox Valley won't be running Monday because districts will be closed due bitterly cold temperatures being predicted.

School buses throughout the Fox Valley won't be running Monday because districts will be closed due to the bitterly cold temperatures being predicted. | Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 7, 2014 6:23AM



As more snow and colder temperatures moved into the Fox Valley on Sunday, school officials announced closings of activities and facilities for Monday. And police reported road closings from hazardous conditions, warning that motorists might become stranded for a time in rural areas.

School districts throughout the Fox Valley said they would be closed Monday because of the bitterly cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills being forecast. As of Sunday evening, Monday’s temperatures were predicted to drop to minus 19 degrees by 9 a.m., with wind chills of nearly minus 45. .

Among area schools, Carpentersville-based District 300 issued its closing announcement at midday Sunday. In a release, Superintendent Michael Bregy said, “We are letting you know this afternoon (Sunday) so that you are better able to plan your day tomorrow. The school district acknowledges the inconvenience this decision may cause and we appreciate your understanding of our need to protect our children from forecasted dangerously extreme cold temperatures. All after-school practices, performances, and competitions are cancelled as well.”

East Aurora District 131 announced its Monday closing also around midday Sunday. “District administrators will continue to monitor the weather to determine whether schools or administrative buildings will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 7,” according to a release from the district. “If schools are closed, a phone blast will be sent out to East Aurora School District 131 families.”

Other area districts that announced Monday closings included West Aurora District 129, St. Charles District 303, Burlington-based Central District 301, Oswego District 308, Huntley District 158, Geneva District 304, Batavia District 101, and Kaneland District 302, the Fox Valley Career Center in Maple Park, Indian Prairie District 204 and Naperville District 203, along with Elgin Community College and Northern Illinois University (the main NIU campus in DeKalb and its satellite locations). Students in Elgin School District U46 already were scheduled to have Monday off because of a planned staff institute day — although the district announced early Sunday evening that all institute day and after-school activities would be canceled as well Monday because of the weather and that the U46 Educational Services Center also would be closed.

The closing announcements generally noted that district meetings, activities and events were all canceled along with classes. District 129 noted that “there will be no Durham transportation for special education students attending private facilities.”

Parents were urged to check their school districts’ websites for updated information about closings.

Road closings

In its closings announcement, the mostly rural District 301 also cited blowing snow as well as frigid temperatures. And a midday Sunday release from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office underscored the problems being experienced from drifting snow on rural roadways.

About 2 p.m., the Kane sheriff’s office reported that “Route 38 between Elburn and Maple park is closed due to the drifting snow causing the roads to be impassable. Route 30 in the Big Rock area is also closed. (The Illinois Department of Transportation) notified Kane County officials they are not able to change their routes to address specific roadways. Stranded motorists might be stuck for an extended period of time until the state of Illinois plows are (able to) reach those areas.”

In a release about a half-hour earlier, Kane sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler stated that “Road conditions in western Kane County are deteriorating rapidly. The higher winds are starting to cause roads to drift over and become impassable. We have had reports of groups of cars off the road and disabled on Route 38 west of Elburn and Route 30 near Big Rock. Roadways in the cities may be passable, but the roads in the western part of the county may not be. Once these roads drift over and become impassable, emergency crews have a very difficult time getting to the motorists and then need plows and tows to help clear the roads. Motorists need to pay attention to the weather warnings these conditions are hazardous.”

Kane County roads remained drifted over Tuesday mornng.

“Those that are clear are ice covered. If you must travel today please plan ahead and take extra precautions and plan on being stuck,” Gengler said in a release issued at 5:20 a.m..

Difficult road conditions Sunday were not limited to the rural areas around Chicago. IDOT said in a release about 1 p.m. that “the majority of Illinois roads are snow- and ice-covered, (and) motorists are urged to only travel if necessary as conditions worsen and snow continues to fall throughout the state.”

DeKalb County officials announced late Sunday afternoon that their government buildings would be closed Monday and reopen Tuesday.



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