Herald-Whig

Area braces for cold blast

A walker uses the crosswalk at 11th and Maine during the snowstorm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. Quincy Public Schools dismissed early due to the weather. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 13, 2020 12:10 am Updated: Feb. 13, 2020 12:13 am

QUINCY — Temperatures are expected to drop to a single-digit high Thursday after the region saw between 2 and 4 inches of snow Wednesday.

Brian Inman, chief meteorologist at The Herald-Whig's newsgathering partner WGEM, said the temperatures started dropping Wednesday night, and Thursday's projected high in Quincy is 12 degrees with temperatures dipping near zero Thursday night.

"We're going to run a full 24 hours where wind chills will be at zero or below, and the salt and all that stuff just won't work," Inman said.

Snowplows were out working to clear area roads before the deep freeze kicked in.

Kevin McClean, director of Central Services for the city of Quincy, said side streets were starting to get slick late Wednesday afternoon, but crews continued to clear them.

"The crews have been out since around 11 o'clock, and the night crews will come in at 7 and will run through the night," McClean said. "Definitely as the temperatures drop, anything that's left on the road will probably turn to ice."

City crews will start using liquid calcium chloride mix along with salt on the roads as temperatures drop to help keep roads from icing.

"It still should do its job," McClean said.

Capt. Brian Anderson of the Illinois State Police said roads started getting slick Wednesday afternoon, especially the passing lane on the interstate.

"It's very dangerous to get out into that lane right now, because the snowplows have only got the driving lane fairly clear," Anderson said. "So I would encourage people to try not and pass if they don't have to, because the second they get out into that lane, they're at the mercy of the snow slush and ruts. That can steer a car straight into a ditch or traffic they're trying to pass."

He said there were multiple reports of cars sliding off roads in Pike County, and a jackknifed tractor-trailer blocking both westbound lanes in U.S. 36 near Hannibal, Mo., was backing up traffic attempting to enter Missouri on Wednesday afternoon.

Anderson encouraged residents to be cautious with the dropping temperatures and icy road conditions.

"All the good reason to stay home," he said.

Conditions will improve by Saturday with temperatures in the low 40s Saturday and nearing 50 degrees Monday.