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National Weather Service Recognizes Illinois Tollway as "StormReady" to Respond to Severe Weather

Program recognizes public and private institutions prepared to handle extreme weather events

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway was recognized today by the National Weather Service as “StormReady” for being well-prepared to respond quickly and effectively to dangerous weather conditions on any of the five roadways that make up the 294-mile Tollway system in Northern Illinois. 
 
“The Illinois Tollway has demonstrated it has the resources and capabilities to save lives and protect property before, during and after extreme weather events,” Mike Bardou, warning coordination meteorologist, Chicago National Weather Service, said in a formal presentation today at Tollway headquarters in Downers Grove. “Being recognized as StormReady, means the Tollway is prepared to manage extreme weather events through advanced planning, effective communication and situational awareness.” 
 
The StormReady program was developed by the National Weather Service, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and provides weather, water and climate data, as well as forecasts, warnings and impact-based decision support services for the protection of life and property. 
 
The StormReady program helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen their local safety programs by providing clear-cut guidelines on how to improve hazardous weather operations, providing opportunities for the Tollway to work in collaboration with the National Weather Service to promote public safety during extreme weather events. 
 
“The Illinois Tollway is ready at any given moment to respond to any type of extreme weather to keep customers safe on our roadways,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse. “Safety is a top priority for the Tollway and we have developed comprehensive, proactive plans and procedures to anticipate, communicate and respond to hazardous weather conditions.” 
 
The Illinois Tollway has a well-established track record of being prepared for extreme weather. 
 
Each winter, the Tollway deploys its fleet of 196 snowplows, employs more than 200 staff and supervisors working around the clock and stockpiles tons of salt and other roadway materials to ensure its more than 1.5 million daily drivers can safely reach their destinations. The Tollway also deploys around-the-clock Zero Weather Road Patrols to quickly locate and assist customers who become stranded on the Tollway system whenever temperatures or sustained wind chills fall below zero degrees. 
 
In the summer months, the Tollway deploys 24-hour Hot Weather Patrols whenever temperatures or heat indexes rise to hazardous extremes. And, in June 2022, Tollway staff helped respond to a very large and destructive tornado that damaged 225 homes and injured at least eight people in Naperville and Woodridge. 
 
As part of a review process, local representatives of the National Weather Service and several emergency management agencies toured the Tollway’s Traffic Operations Center and Dispatch Center and met with Tollway staff to discuss the ways in which the agency meets the qualifications to be certified StormReady. The Tollway meets the criteria through its comprehensive planning and preparation, including:
The Illinois Tollway is one of only three toll agencies nationwide that’s recognized by the National Weather Service among the nearly 3,200 StormReady sites throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Pacific Islands. In Illinois, there are more than 150 sites recognized as StormReady, including 36 counties, 90 communities, 19 universities and colleges, seven commercial and two government agencies – the Illinois Tollway and Argonne National Laboratory. StormReady certification must be renewed every four years. 
1/26/2023 11:10 AM (Updated 1/26/2023 11:33 AM)
Missouri - Special Weather Statement

Counties: Bollinger; Butler; Cape Girardeau; Carter; Perry; Ripley; Scott; Stoddard; Wayne

...VERY LIGHT ICING POSSIBLE TONIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING...
A strong cold front will move through the Quad State region
today, leading to falling temperatures. By late this evening sub-
freezing air will enter far northwest portions of the region, and
by sunrise Monday, most of southeast Missouri and southern
Illinois, and possibly portions of southwest Indiana will be at or
below freezing.
There is some potential for very light rain or drizzle to develop
over the entire region tonight, mainly after midnight. Some very
light icing will be possible, and some slick spots could develop
mainly on bridges and overpasses. Drivers late tonight through
the Monday morning commute should slow down and be prepared for
hazardous driving conditions.
Forecast confidence is quite low at this time, so please stay
tuned for updates from the National Weather Service in Paducah
Kentucky.
1/29/2023 3:33 AM (Updated 1/29/2023 12:03 PM)
Indiana - Special Weather Statement

Counties: Gibson; Pike; Posey

...VERY LIGHT ICING POSSIBLE TONIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING...
A strong cold front will move through the Quad State region
today, leading to falling temperatures. By late this evening sub-
freezing air will enter far northwest portions of the region, and
by sunrise Monday, most of southeast Missouri and southern
Illinois, and possibly portions of southwest Indiana will be at or
below freezing.
There is some potential for very light rain or drizzle to develop
over the entire region tonight, mainly after midnight. Some very
light icing will be possible, and some slick spots could develop
mainly on bridges and overpasses. Drivers late tonight through
the Monday morning commute should slow down and be prepared for
hazardous driving conditions.
Forecast confidence is quite low at this time, so please stay
tuned for updates from the National Weather Service in Paducah
Kentucky.
1/29/2023 3:33 AM (Updated 1/29/2023 12:03 PM)
Illinois - Special Weather Statement

Counties: Alexander; Edwards; Franklin; Gallatin; Hamilton; Jackson; Jefferson; Johnson; Perry; Pope; Pulaski; Saline; Union; Wabash; Wayne; White; Williamson

...VERY LIGHT ICING POSSIBLE TONIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING...
A strong cold front will move through the Quad State region
today, leading to falling temperatures. By late this evening sub-
freezing air will enter far northwest portions of the region, and
by sunrise Monday, most of southeast Missouri and southern
Illinois, and possibly portions of southwest Indiana will be at or
below freezing.
There is some potential for very light rain or drizzle to develop
over the entire region tonight, mainly after midnight. Some very
light icing will be possible, and some slick spots could develop
mainly on bridges and overpasses. Drivers late tonight through
the Monday morning commute should slow down and be prepared for
hazardous driving conditions.
Forecast confidence is quite low at this time, so please stay
tuned for updates from the National Weather Service in Paducah
Kentucky.
1/29/2023 3:33 AM (Updated 1/29/2023 12:03 PM)

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Sun Jan 29 2023 12:04:20 CST