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Storm warning in effect, police warn of hazardous driving conditions

Emergency workers respond to a rollover accident on Route 25 in Batavia that happened shortly after 9 a.m.
Emergency workers respond to a rollover accident on Route 25 in Batavia that happened shortly after 9 a.m.

A snowstorm is predicted to roar its way through the Fox Valley today, dropping seven to 10 inches of heavy, wet snow, according to weather predictions. As of 6 p.m. about eight inches of snow has fallen Elburn and nearly as much in Batavia, the National Weather Service reported.

Driving conditions have been an issue, and there have been numerous crashes reported. The Kane County Sheriff's Office and the Batavia Police Department responded to a rollover accident on Route 25 in Batavia, just south of Glenwood Park shortly after 9 a.m. Lt. Pat Gengler, the spokesman for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, said information was not immediately available, but he said one person was extricated from the vehicle. A stretch of the road was also closed.

He said police are "basically going from call to call" today because of the rapid snowfall. He said police noticed a lighter morning commute, and the snowfall has picked up since then.

"It's starting to get bad and we know it's only going to get worse," he said. "We're a little worried about the commute home tonight."

All public schools are closed today, and a winter storm warning is in effect. Waubonsee Community College has closed all of its campuses. Elgin Community College closed in the morning.

A strong weather system is expected to affect the area, with the heaviest snowfall expected during today’s afternoon rush hour, said Richard Castro, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Romeoville office.

The roads are expected to be hazardous throughout the day. The St. Charles Police Department has responded to property-damage accidents, spokesperson Paul McCurtain said.

He advises drivers to slow down.

"Get plenty of spacing between your vehicle and the next," he said.

In Geneva, Police Cmdr. Eric Passarelli said roads are becoming slippery and snow-covered, but that there have not been major problems this morning.

In addition to the schools, there are other weather-related closures. Among them – the Batavia and St. Charles park district, the Geneva History Center, First Baptist Church of Geneva, the Maple Park Public Library. The Campton United Soccer Club has canceled its training.

“Snowstorms and heavier snow bands can always have wild cards, [with] pretty significant variances over short distances,” Castro said. “That does not mean some areas are not going to see under seven inches.”

The height of the storm will bring one to two inches of snow an hour, with wind gusts approaching 30 mph in the afternoon to early evening, Castro said.

“The biggest thing is the substantial impact on the afternoon commute,” Castro said.

“Motorists should heed the warning. And – if they can – choose to work from home or leave early or call it a snow day.”

This is considered a spring snowstorm – meteorological spring began Friday – and Castro said these tend to get very heavy, wet snowfall because of the moisture in the air.

“March around Chicagoland is not known as a warm month,” Castro said. “Not every March gets a big snowfall – but they do get snowstorms and plenty of chilly temperatures. It’s a transition month, with fairly cold days and some warmer days.”

• Brenda Schory, Nicole Weskerna and Al Lagattolla contributed to this story.

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