The area roads are becoming slippery and, in some cases, treacherous. Area county sheriffs are urging residents and travelers to only travel in case of emergency. The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook:
“**PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT ** This IS NOT Santa’s sleigh!! Yes, they have bright lights and loud sirens, however they are not magical, we’re driving what you’re driving!!! If in the next 24-72 hours you find yourself stranded, we will do what we can to get you, however we cannot guarantee you that we’ll be able to. Plan accordingly!!! If you have to be out and about, make sure you have an emergency kit, food, water, blankets etc. If at all possible, we would ask that you stay put!!! Please be safe, stay warm and have a great Holiday Season!!!”
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office shared the post and added:
“This same message applies to Winnebago County. Please take this weather and storm seriously. We understand that it is a holiday weekend, and everyone wants to gather with friends and family. Please be safe, smart, and prepared if you must travel. If you do become stranded, please understand that we may not be able to get any emergency services to you in a timely fashion. We are competing with the same weather as well.”
County and municipal road departments have trucks out trying to clear the roadways, but winds and additional snows may hamper that effort. Wind chills will sink to -35 degrees and snow accumulations are expected to be 1-3 inches tonight. Officials are urging those wishing to travel to make alternate plans to avoid getting stranded. If you absolutely must go, make sure you have a charged cell phone and communicate with someone when you leave and when you arrive at your destination. Take an emergency kit with water, food, blankets, a fully charged flashlight, shovel, cell phone charger, and a full tank of gas in the vehicle.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until noon on Thursday. This will be followed by a Blizzard Warning in effect until 6am Christmas Eve for the broadcast area. From the Iowa border north and west into the Lyon, Sioux, Plymouth, Woodbury, Dixon, Dakota, Clay, and Union Counties, a Wind Chill Warning has been issued until Christmas Eve at noon because of the extreme wind chill temperatures near -45 degrees.