Update: 7:17 p.m.: Ogle County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a tornado near Route 64 near Shannon that was moving east-northeast in a post on Facebook.
Residents of the Sauk Valley began the process of hunkering down on Friday afternoon as the Sauk Valley — along with much of western and northern Illinois — remained under a tornado watch on Friday.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office announced on its Facebook page that it was closing all county buildings at 2 p.m. Offices would not reopen until normal business hours on Monday, the post said.
The Old Lee County Courthouse was supposed to be open for early voting from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The post did not address that.
The Next Picture Show in downtown Dixon had planned to have the awards reception for the Phidian Art Show on Friday. That event was called off and rescheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Sterling Public Schools announced that it was calling off all after-school practices and interscholastic competitions. The preschools at Jefferson and Franklin let out at 2 p.m.
Dixon High School called off its scheduled soccer match with Orion that was to be held on Saturday.
In Oregon, city officials opened the Oregon Coliseum on North Fourth and Franklin streets as an emergency shelter. Access to the building’s basement was through the north door off Franklin Street, city administrator Darin DeHaan said. The area will be monitored by police, he added.
“We are hopeful that the storms do not develop but we want to be prepared to assist citizens who may have a need for a lower-level shelter during this weather event,” DeHaan said.
Oregon Mayor Ken Willams said city workers were ready to respond in the event of storm damage.