News - Kane County

Kane County sees season’s first snowfall, making for a sloppy morning commute

A snowplow clears the snow along Route 64 in St. Charles on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

Kane County’s first snow of the season was expected continue into Tuesday with up to an inch falling, according to the National Weather Service, making for a messy morning commute.

Snow could continue throughout the day Tuesday, with a break before more snow again Wednesday afternoon, with less than an inch of accumulation possible. Kane County could see some flurries on Thursday morning before it tapers off.

Public works crews in the area said they were well prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings.

“Our preparation started back in October, really, with getting the trucks set up,” said AJ Reineking, public services manager for the St. Charles Public Works Department. “And our drivers go through training, be it getting acclimated or reacclimated with the routes or if we have new drivers, giving them the time to get in the loader to load salt, to learn their routes and to learn the plow controls and getting used to driving with a plow on.”

As part of their training, snow plow drivers will also go through an obstacle course to simulate having to work around parked cars and mailboxes. And fortunately, the department didn’t have to dig deep in its pockets for this year’s salt supply in the face of rising costs because of inflation.

“We got a fair price through our state contract,” Reineking said.

The city of Geneva’s Public Works Department trucks are “loaded with salt and ready to go,” said city spokesman Kevin Stahr.

“Public Works has been pre-treating streets with a liquid mixture of salt brine, calcium chloride and beet juice [Monday] with the primary focus on Geneva’s main arterial roadways. The application should prove effective with daytime temperatures forecasted to remain above freezing,” he said in an email.

The Kane County Division of Transportation is responsible for roughly 320 center lane miles of roadway or total lane mileage of 740 lane miles. Bill Edwards, maintenance superintendent at Kane County Department of Transportation, said his department is prepared for the snow.

“With winter operations being one of our biggest single operations here at transportation, preparation in some form is almost a year around thing,” Edwards said in an email. “But in regards to the forecast for the upcoming snow event, all our trucks are loaded with deicing chemicals (mostly salt), plows attached and pre-trip inspections completed.”

While his department has seen its share of cost increases because of inflation, thankfully, salt has been spared.

“Glad to report that our salt bid contract for treated salt for this winter came in at a lower cost than last year,” Edwards said.

He urged motorists to use caution when driving the next couple of days.

“Let’s make sure we all remember to allow ourselves enough time to drive according to the conditions,” he said.