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The Village of Park Forest Department Public Works (D.P.W.) asks residents to be vigilant of local street flooding, water main breaks, and possible ice during this mid-winter thaw.
After a week and a half of temperatures running well below normal, forecasters say the region will experience temperatures 5- 15 degrees above average over the next 14 days. The average high for this time of year is 31 degrees.
Director Roderick Ysaguirre said that though the warmer weather is welcomed, it can also come with some hazards.
"We're asking residents to be our eyes on the street and help clear any storm drains that may be blocked by snow, ice, or debris," Ysaguirre said. "Our crews are also looking for these things, but we can't see everything. So if residents can help us with that or give us a call, we can get those drains cleared out so the excess water from the melting snow and ice can drain properly and not cause localized street flooding."
Ysaguirre said another hazard residents should watch out for is refreezing water overnight. He noted that though temperatures during the day are forecasted to be above freezing, at night, they are predicted to be around 32 degrees, which could cause the water to freeze, creating slippery conditions on area roadways and sidewalks.
"Another way we're being proactive is by treating the streets to prevent excess water from freezing again," Ysaguirre said. "Residents should just take it easy, especially when driving at night or first thing in the morning."
Lastly, Ysaguirre said with the thaw, there's an increased chance of water main breaks. He mentioned this happens because as the ground around a pipe freezes and heats, the pipes expand and contract – sometimes causing a rupture.
"We ask residents to watch for any excess flooding that seems abnormal to typical snow and ice melting," Ysaguirre said. "If you suspect a water main break in your neighborhood, please do not hesitate to call Public Works."