Winter alerts in effect; Snow to cause travel impacts starting Sunday night into Monday

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Hard to believe a winter storm system is on its way to Northeast Ohio with the clear skies we saw on Saturday and will see through the day on Sunday.

Here is the timeline through the rest of the weekend:

Sunday starts off and stays dry.

Wake up temperatures will sink into the single digits for many early Sunday morning.

The system snow arrives late Sunday night from the south, mainly after 8 PM.

Areas south of Cleveland will see the biggest impacts overnight into early Monday morning.

The higher snow totals will be east and along the I-71 corridor, with the heaviest snow expected east of the I-77 corridor.

Regardless, snow will still be falling in these areas come Monday morning, so expect snow-covered roads and slick travel during the Monday morning commute.

The second part of the ALERT will be lake effect snow picking up and continuing through the afternoon Monday.

This is where we could pick up and additional 4-8″ in the snowbelt where snow squalls persist.

This could lead to travel impacts during the evening commute as well.

A few lake effect snow bands will linger through the first half of the day Tuesday.

This is a complicated and evolving system. Stay with the 19 First Alert Team for the latest updates.

Copyright 2022 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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Supervisor alerts residents to travel delays from Greenville to Quincy

District 2 Supervisor Kevin Goss often makes the drive from his Greenville-based district into Quincy. He wants residents to know that helicopter logging has resumed near Indian Falls. He said to expect 45 minute delays if you happen to be at the beginning of the stopped traffic.

That has been his experience. He said the logging operation lasts about 45 minutes and then, when the helicopter stops to refuel (about 15 minutes), both lanes of traffic are allowed to proceed simultaneously. Then the process repeats itself.

Yesterday Goss was elected to be the chairman of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors. He has held the position before and knows the work that it entails, but said it’s exactly where he wants to be as he helps his district rebuild following the devastating Dixie Fire. The fire disproportionately impacted his district including leveling the communities of Greenville and Indian Falls.

But it’s not just about his district. “I’m excited to be leading the county again,” he said. As chairman, Goss will be privy to all of the information that he believes is necessary to make the best decisions for his district and the county. In addition to rebuilding, Goss sees infrastructure such as readily accessible internet as critical.

District 1 Supervisor Dwight Ceresola will serve another term as vice chairman.

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City Alerts Community about Strong Cold Front

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – According to the National Weather Service a strong cold front will move into Corpus Christi Sunday morning between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Temperatures are expected to drop into the low 40s with winds between 40 and 45 miles per hour until around noon. While it is expected to warm up during the day, the area will experience several hours of at or below freezing temperatures Sunday night into Monday morning. The City has an emergency management plan to address issues such as individuals and pets in need of shelter and utilities.

Homeless Shelters:

On Sunday, January 2, the Salvation Army will open the old shelter location at 521 Josephine for overflow. Intake will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Good Samaritan is also opened and taking people in at 210 S. Alameda. Males and females are welcome. Intake is 24 hours a day. The City is partnering with the Gulf Coast Humane Society to shelter the pets of persons who are homeless. The City will be conducting outreach on Sunday to reach people who may need assistance.

Warming Centers:

The City will also offer daytime warming centers within the city limits. City Warming Centers are not a place to sleep nor eat. No pets will be allowed, and no food will be provided.

Strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place to include temperature checks upon entry and facemasks are recommended. Visitors will be expected to follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) and State COVID-19 recommended guidelines such as maintaining 6 feet social distancing, along with other best personal-protection practices.

Sunday, January 2, and Monday, January 3, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.:

Broadmoor Senior Center                 1651 Tarlton                        826-3138 

Northwest Senior Center                   9725 Up River Road           826-2320

Library location available Monday, January 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.:

La Retama Central Library                  805 Comanche                  826-7000

Animal Care Services:

In anticipation of the upcoming cold weather, Animal Care Services has increased the number of on-call officers from one to three to help with calls concerning pets left outside in cold weather. This increase of officers will be in effect for tonight and Sunday night when the temperatures are expected to be at their lowest. Citizens are encouraged to bring their pets inside in advance of the temperature drop.

The City reminds pet owners that there is a city ordinance requiring adequate sheltering of canines during cold weather.

Protect Property:

To minimize property damage, citizens are advised to take appropriate steps to help protect their property and:

  • Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home with newspaper, insulation, or towels.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets. Insulate outside faucets with a Styrofoam cover, rags, or paper.
  • Cover vents around the foundation of your home.
  • Know where the water cut-off valve is located and how to use it. You should apply oil such as WD-40, to the cut-off valve before operating to prevent the valve from breaking.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets so warmer air can circulate below the sinks.
  • Shut off irrigation systems. Water runoff from irrigation systems can travel onto the street and freeze, creating hazardous conditions for drivers.
  • Commercial customers should insulate or drain all exposed pipes.

If you are not staying at home:

  • Cut water off at the property owner’s cut-off valve.
  • Drain all outside water faucets if your house will be unoccupied for several days (leave outside faucets open).
  • Set the thermostat in your house at no lower than 55ºF
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing.

Space Heaters:

The Corpus Christi Fire Department wants to make sure residents stay safe and warm during winter weather conditions by providing the following safety tips when using portable space heaters:

  • Inspect all heating equipment prior to use.
  • Make sure all space heaters are clean and dust-free.
  • Choose electric space heaters that are UL approved with automatic shut-off or tip over safety features.
  • If using extension cords, make sure they are the proper size and length.
  • Never run extension cords under rugs or carpets.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from furniture and other flammable items.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replace batteries regularly.
  • NEVER use charcoal grills or other fuel-burning devices indoors.
  • Keep an eye on children and pets when using space heaters.
  • Always turn space heaters off when leaving home.  

Protect your plants:

  • Bring your smaller container plants, especially succulents, indoors. Mulch or cover outdoor plants with straw, blankets, or cardboard.
  • To prevent heat loss from sides of containers, push together large outdoor pots and wrap the bases with a blanket.
  • Rosemary topiaries or potted citrus plants or roses should be moved close to the wall of your house for warmth.
  • Don’t worry if plant leaves wilt; they protect themselves against the cold by dehydrating themselves. Given time, most will perk back up.
  • If you see damage from frost (black or purple flaccid leaves or stems), particularly on woody perennials, wait until the spring to prune to not shear off healthy tissue.

For more information, stay connected with our City social media channels Facebook @citygov and Twitter @cityofcc.

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Travel Alerts, Parking Reminders, Road Closures and More – NBC Chicago

A New Year’s Day snowstorm started making its way across the Chicago area, bringing dangerous travel conditions that halted hundreds of flights and sparked closures in the city as it threatened to dump several inches of snow.

Here’s the latest on what’s happening across the area as the heaviest snow begins to fall:

4:20 p.m.: Evanston reminds residents of off-street parking options

With several inches of snow expected in the region, the city of Evanston issued a reminder to residents about available free parking options.

As the city expects to see 5 to 7 inches of snow, off-street parking is encouraged to provide extra room for snow plows.

Free parking options are listed below:

  • Downtown parking garage, located at 1800 Maple Ave., through Thursday, Jan. 6 at 11:59 p.m. 
  • Evanston Township High School parking lots 1 and 1A. Drivers should enter the lots from Davis Street east of Dodge Avenue. 
  • AMITA Health is offering free parking to Evanston residents in its parking garage, located at Sherman Avenue and Austin Street.

The following city parking lots are also included:

  • Lot 3, 1700 Chicago Ave.
  • Lot 4, Central Street at Stewart Avenue (metered spaces only)
  • Lot 16, 800/900 Noyes St. at the CTA tracks
  • Lot 24, 727 Main St.
  • Lot 25, 1614 Maple Ave. (metered spaces only)
  • Lot 27, 1621 Oak Ave.
  • Lot 51, 927 Noyes St. (metered spaces only)
  • Lot 54, Central Street Metra Station

4:06 p.m.: Chicago officials issue alert regarding travel conditions

3:50 p.m.: Chicago’s street department shifts to new snow program phase

As snow pummeled the city of Chicago Saturday afternoon, the Department of Streets and Sanitation activated its Phase 3 snow program, increasing the number of salt spreaders throughout the city to 287.

DSS staff will continue to monitor the weather and ground conditions and will adjust snow resources if and when needed, according to a news release from department officials.

Residents are advised to stay home, but if travel is necessary, they’re encouraged to drive according to conditions and reduce speed.

3 p.m.: Winter weather advisory begins for some northwest Indiana counties

A winter weather advisory takes effect in some northwest Indiana counties, including Newton and Jasper.

The advisory, which remains in effect until 6 a.m. CT Sunday, warns of anywhere from 1 to 4 inches of accumulations as rain transitions to snow throughout the afternoon and evening.

2:50 p.m.: Huntley implements parking ban with more than 2 inches of snow on the ground

2:17 p.m.: Chicago Park District Closes Parts of Lakefront Trail

2 p.m.: Heaviest snow set to begin for some counties

For counties under the earliest winter storm warning, the heaviest snow is expected to fall between 2 and 8 p.m.

This includes in McHenry, DeKalb, Kane, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy and Will counties in Illinois.

2 p.m.: Thousands of flights canceled

More than 1,000 flights were reported canceled in Chicago Saturday afternoon as a New Year’s Day snowstorm made its way into the area.

By 2 p.m. O’Hare International Airport had reported 844 cancellations while Midway Airport saw an additional 273.

Chicago was reported to be among the worst in the country for cancellations on the holiday due to the wintry weather.

12 pm. More counties now under winter storm warning

The warning begins at 12 p.m. CT in Lake, DuPage and Cook counties in Illinois, along with Lake and Porter counties in Indiana. Kenosha County in Wisconsin also has a winter storm warning at this time.

Snow, heavy at times, could also turn into blowing snow, making travel hazardous, according to the alert. Total accumulations of 5 to 9 inches are expected along with wind gusts of up to 40 mph in the afternoon and evening, particularly along the lakefront.

The warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. CT Sunday.

A winter weather advisory is also in effect for LaPorte County in Indiana at this time. The advisory, which remains in effect until noon Sunday, warns of snow accumulations between 5 and 7 inches, with some locations seeing higher amounts, particularly those near Lake Michigan.

9 a.m.: Winter storm warning took effect

A winter storm warning began at 9 a.m. in McHenry, DeKalb, Kane, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy and Will counties in Illinois.

It warns of total snow accumulations between 4 and 8 inches with wind gusts of up to 35 mph in the afternoon and evening.

“Travel could become very difficult,” the alert states. “Blowing snow after sunset Saturday could significantly reduce visibility, especially in open areas.”

The warning remains in effect for these counties until midnight.

8:30 a.m. Chicago transportation department deploys hundreds of salt spreaders

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation announced it would activated its “Phase II snow program, deploying 211 salt spreaders in response to a winter system that will result in snow throughout the day and into the night.”

The salt spreaders will focus on Chicago’s arterial routes and Lake Shore Drive before shifting to side streets, the department said.

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MnDOT automates winter travel alerts

It’s a fairly good bet that Minnesota won’t see a blizzard or snow squall the rest of this spring, but should a freak storm arise, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is ready to alert drivers quickly.

The agency has automated the process in which it takes warnings from the National Weather Service and relays them to motorists by posting messages on electronic sign boards across the state.

For the past couple of winters, MnDOT has used its 400 digital signs to broadcast blizzard warnings. And until this year, that job of updating signs fell primarily to Garrett Schreiner, a freeway operations engineer. Each time a blizzard struck, Schreiner headed to his computer to determine which areas of the state were being impacted and which signs were in the affected areas. Then he crafted and posted a message.

“I have to monitor every winter storm,” he said. “Thankfully there are not a ton of blizzards, so it’s doable.”

But all those steps take time and manpower, which ultimately delays how quickly messages get out to the public. Schreiner and others wondered if they could automate the process.

MnDOT collaborated with SRF Consulting to develop traffic management software capable of parsing feeds from the weather service. When the software comes across a blizzard warning, it determines the location and time of the warning and composes the appropriate message. A MnDOT staff member in the Regional Transportation Management Center in Roseville can review and manually post the message to signs in the impacted area, or turn on a feature that allows the software to do it automatically. The software can also update messages as weather conditions change, Schreiner said.

“We cut the time it takes to get messages out to travelers,” he said.

MnDOT tested the software during an early January blizzard that socked much of the state and found that it worked well. The plan is to use it statewide this winter, Schreiner said.

MnDOT generally uses the signs only to announce real-time information about crashes, closures, road hazards or how long it will take drivers to reach a specific destination. Agency officials wondered if drivers would take weather messages seriously if it posted too many of them.

A survey to determine how effective digital messages were during blizzards drew 406 responses from drivers from the Twin Cities, across Minnesota and other states. More than half of respondents said they had seen a blizzard warning on a digital sign and reported seeing it two to three times. Three-quarters of those who were not aware of a blizzard before they set out said they found the messages to be “helpful” or “very helpful.” Half of those who knew about a blizzard before traveling reported messages were helpful or very helpful. Most respondents said the messages were more effective than alerts broadcast by other media, a MnDOT report said.

“The survey results helped MnDOT determine the best way to display winter weather conditions … and that messages are displayed accurately and on time,” said Brian Kary, director of traffic operations.

Schreiner said winter driving hazards such as freezing rain, fog and winter storms “having a big impact” on travel may be considered for automation.

The system “opens up the door for displaying summer warnings,” he said, “but we don’t think we’d use it for that.”

Follow news about traffic and commuting at The Drive on Got traffic or transportation questions, or story ideas? E-mail [email protected], tweet @stribdrive or call Tim Harlow at 612-673-7768.

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