A disaster declaration has been issued in Illinois for Winter Storm Landon, which could bring over a foot of snow to some parts of Illinois. Lake and McHenry counties will likely only see a few inches of snow.
Governor J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday issued a disaster declaration and activated approximately 130 members of the Illinois National Guard to ensure all state resources are available to deal with the heavy snow, ice and blizzard conditions expected over the coming days.
The governor is directing IEMA to coordinate a statewide response which will include more than 1,800 IDOT trucks and equipment, ISP patrols to help stranded motorists and approximately 130 members of the Illinois National Guard.
“I’m authorizing a disaster proclamation for Winter Storm Landon, effective immediately, to support local government disaster response and recovery operations wherever necessary. I want to assure county and local officials and everyone in the path of the storm that my administration will provide resources every step of the way,” Pritzker said.
“On the ground, all state assets stand ready to assist. I encourage everyone to do what you can to stay safe: listen to local authorities to stay up to date with the latest conditions in your community and make sure your household has essentials,” Pritzker added.
IEMA’s State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield will be activated to coordinate the state’s response to the storm.
Representatives from relevant state agencies will staff the SEOC 24 hours a day throughout the storm and quickly deploy resources to impacted communities.
The Illinois Department of Transportation said the winter storm is expected to create treacherous conditions starting Tuesday evening and lasting for several days, with the potential for extremely dangerous and, at times, life-threatening travel across much of the state.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation spends the entire year preparing for snow-and-ice season and is ready to respond around the clock to this significant weather event, but clearly the public needs to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and postpone all unnecessary travel,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman.
“Always remember, during extreme weather, the safest option is to stay home. If you must be on the roads, please be prepared for the real possibility of becoming stranded if you are unable to make it to your destination. Your cooperation and patience will be essential to keeping everyone safe the next several days,” Osman said.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a winter storm warning starting with mixed precipitation shifting to snow Tuesday afternoon and evening, extending into the overnight hours.
Across the Chicago area, trace accumulations to more than a foot of snow are predicted.
Lake County could see 1-4 inches of snow in the first round of the storm and then less than an inch during the second round Wednesday night into Thursday.
The majority of McHenry County will likely see less than an inch of snow during the first round of the storm, with the exception of a small portion of the southeast part of the county, which could see 1-4 inches of snow.
The far northwest region of the state — Rockford and the Quad Cities — is expected to miss much of the storm.
In central Illinois, along the Interstate 55, 57, 70 and 72 corridors, snow totals are expected to range between 6 and 20 inches, with the highest amounts in the Springfield, Bloomington, Champaign areas and as far north as Kankakee.
“The Illinois State Police, along with our state and local partners, are tracking this storm and stand constantly ready to meet the challenges presented by these types of weather events,” ISP Director Brendan Kelly said.
“While we are helping motorists out of ditches and handling crashes related to this snow-and-ice storm, we want to remind the public of the Move Over Law. By slowing down and moving over, drivers are helping all first responders and stranded motorists get back home to their families safely,” Kelly said.