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The Department of Public Works (D.P.W) in Park Forest is preparing for a significant winter storm that's expected to dump anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow across the region on Friday and Saturday morning, according to forecasters.
The exact snowfall amounts aren't known since the storm's track is still uncertain. Nevertheless, D.P.W. Director Roderick Ysaguirre said regardless of what Mother Nature may bring, his department is prepared for it all.
"Just like everyone else, we're watching the forecast and prepping for this storm," Ysaguirre said. "Similar to earlier this week, it seems like we might be near the rain/snow line which might cut into our snowfall totals. But regardless, we're ready."
Ysaguirre said it's important for residents to do their best to shovel their sidewalks and driveways and be good neighbors. He added that with the brutally cold weather that's following this weekend's snowstorm, try to clear areas down to the pavement because any remaining snow, slush, or wet areas will turn to ice and salt and will no longer be effective.
Ysaguirre added, "It will be dangerously cold after Saturday, so please dress for the weather."
Ysaguirre said residents could help crews by doing a few things ahead of the storm.
"Move your parked cars into driveways and off the roads so plows have room to work to clear more of the road," said Ysaguirre. "And so that other vehicles don’t damage your parked vehicles."
Ysaguirre added with a winter storm of this magnitude, residents should be patient as his team will work around the clock to clear the roadways.
"Plowing our two main priority routes takes approximately three to four hours," Ysaguirre said. "Then teams break up, and each plows their assigned local street routes - which could take another three hours. Then we repeat the process."
Ysaguirre said during a snow event, the main goal is to keep up with the snowfall. The department is doing so by using its full fleet of equipment which includes seven snow plows and two additional trucks that are used for clearing courts and tighter spaces.
Ysaguirre went on to say when the snow stops falling and they do their final passes throughout all streets will residents and motorists see lasting progress. He said the next day, crews will be out again doing a further clearing of roads and on-street parking spaces, so please be sure to move cars parked on streets for a more effective clearing.
Ysaguirre reiterated, per village resolution, that there is NO PARKING on designated "SNOW ROUTE" streets whenever there is an accumulation of two (2) inches or more of snow and ice on the roadway. Check for posted signage.
The ban allows Public Works crews to clear the roads and parking areas more effectively. This ban remains in effect until the storm event and accumulation of snow and ice have been removed.
While not required by ordinance on streets not designated as snow routes, Public Works requests that residents fully utilize their driveways for parking vehicles during and for a few days after a snow event. This will allow crews to clear more roads during an event and for the days after so that on-street parking can be available once all snow is removed from the area. This will also aid first responders in responding to emergencies.
Click here for more information on how the Village removes snow and ice during a winter storm.
Please note: Stay tuned to the Village’s Facebook page and website about warming center information.