DeKalb County winter roads update: Police respond to minor crashes, urge caution for motorists into holiday

Traffic heads north through the blowing and falling snow Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, on Peace Road in DeKalb. Snow, frigid temperatures and wind rolled into the area Thursday making travel a challenge.

DeKalb County police agencies reported on Christmas Eve that in-town roads appear passable, though continued to urge drivers to use caution as the aftermath of this week’s winter storm brought frigid windchills and icy travel conditions.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office responded to 11 crashes without injuries on Friday into Saturday, said Sheriff Andy Sullivan. Sheriff’s deputies also responded to what Sullivan said was a handful of drivers in ditches.

“Overall it seems like many people stayed home when they could which certainly helped with this,” Sullivan said Saturday. “The wind and temperatures have been the major problems.”

Blowing winds on in-town and rural roads and windchills which made it feels like negative 35 below zero Friday rendered salt treatment on roads ineffective at limiting risk for motorists throughout the county. Visibility for drivers was also severely impacted, according to the National Weather Service.

In DeKalb late Friday night, police urged drivers to stay off the roads if possible, as subzero temperatures, windchills and blowing wind made for treacherous travel.

“Officers are responding to multiple accidents throughout DeKalb,” DeKalb police wrote in a Friday night Facebook post. “The roads are icy. Please stay home unless it’s an emergency.”

A loader pours salt into a snowplow Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, at the DeKalb County Highway Department location in DeKalb. A significant winter storm is expected Thursday and Friday that will blanket the area with several inches of snow.

In Sycamore, a minor downtown collision between two cars Christmas Eve around midday caused minor damage to the area in front of Blue Moon Bikes in the 200 block of West State Street, said Sycamore Police Sgt. Ryan Hooper.

Hooper said the car didn’t go into the bike shop, however.

“There was an accident, a car struck another car, went over the curb, hit a streetlight and a parking meter, and it did make some contact with the building but didn’t do anything more than superficial damage,” Hooper said. “No injuries, thankfully.”

Hooper said the roads as of Saturday afternoon are about passable, as long as drivers use caution.

“The roads are especially what you’d expect after the very cold stuff,” Hooper said. “If you drive safely and give yourself extra time and space, then the roads are very passable, definitely.”