ST. CHARLES – St. Charles East High School sophomore Robert Wolak enjoyed every bit of his day off from school Tuesday.
The snowstorm that caused schools across the region to cancel classes did not deter Wolak and his friends from having outdoor fun at Langum Park in St. Charles.
“I think it is really what the population of St. Charles needed – a day off from the daily grind,” Wolak said.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, between eight and nine inches of snow had fallen in the Tri-Cities area, and more was expected throughout the night.
Police departments reported slippery conditions and numerous crashes throughout the day – among them a rollover crash near Batavia, from which one person needed to be extricated.
In Geneva, Police Cmdr. Eric Passarelli reported two minor accidents and a car in a ditch as of 6 p.m. He praised the work of those who were tasked with keeping the roads clear.
“The Public Works Department, along with Kane County, have done a great job keeping the roadways plowed and salted,” Passarelli said.
Lt. Pat Gengler of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office reported that people seemed to heed the warnings to stay home during the day. As of 6 p.m., he reported that the afternoon commute had been better than expected, “but the traffic volume is not the same as a typical day.”
The storm caused schools in the area to close, and some businesses and libraries altered their hours because of the snow. That sent students looking for outdoor activities. Wolak said the heavy, wet snow was perfect for making snowballs.
“They’re easy to make and easy to throw,” he said as he launched a snowball toward fellow St. Charles East student Christian Memije.
Memije said the wet snow also provided ideal conditions for snowboarding.
“It’s not that powdery,” he said. “It’s actually really good.”
Tuesday was the first day this school year that schools canceled classes because of the snow. For St. Charles East sophomore Martin White, the timing was perfect.
“I would have had to take a test on Tuesday,” White said. “It’s good to get away from school for a little bit.”
Geneva resident John Loresch was watching his daughter Kayla, 10, sled on the hill at Langum Park. He was not about to join her, however.
“I’m recovering from neck surgery, so you’re not going to see me sledding,” he said.
St. Charles resident Rudy Dorner was thankful for the group of youngsters that went around his neighborhood shoveling porches and driveways.
“I was so shocked,” he said. “I tried to give them some money, but they refused. They said they were just trying to help people out.”
Libraries in the area stayed open during the storm but closed earlier than usual because of the snowy conditions. The Sugar Grove Public Library was among those that closed early.
“We wanted to be open in case someone needed to use the library,” Sugar Grove Library Director Carol Dolin said.
Dolin said the library kept busy Tuesday, but not necessarily because kids were out of school.
“Tuesdays are a busy day in general,” she said.
The storm was expected to dump between seven and 10 inches of snow on the area, with higher amounts possible, said Richard Castro, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Romeoville office.
But the snow won’t be staying around too long because temperatures will rise into the 40s by the weekend, Castro said.
“Temperatures are going to be closer to what is normal for March,” he said.
But temperatures could dip back into the 30s by next week, Castro said.
“We’re not going to have summer in March like we did last year, when we had temperatures in the 80s,” he said.