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Sheriff's spokesman on predicted snow: If you drive, 'expect to get stuck'

Published: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 3:07 p.m. CDT

Lt. Pat Gengler, spokesman for the Kane County Sheriff's Department, said he hopes county residents who drive into the snowy conditions expected this weekend will be prepared for what they will face.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 9 p.m. today through 6 p.m. Saturday, with 6 to 10 inches of snow anticipated during that time. Gengler said drivers should "expect to get stuck."

"I keep hammering home the same message – be prepared," said Gengler, who has issued news releases on a regular basis during the extreme winter weather the county has experienced this year. "If you choose to go out, expect to get stuck. Then if you do, you'll be prepared for it."

The National Weather Service forecast calls for snow to begin tonight and continue through Saturday. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour will be possible by mid-morning Saturday.

"It's a significant snow event," said Amy Seeley, a meteorologist with the weather service.

Gengler said it's difficult for sheriff's department officials to come to the aid of motorists in such conditions. He said it can be frustrating when officers talk to stranded drivers and find that their reasons for going out doesn't seem to be urgent. He said such drivers should understand that they could wind up with a bill from town truck drivers, who "aren't doing this for free." And he said in such conditions, people should consider themselves fortunate to be able to get a tow truck to come.

As for those who might have AAA membership, he said there have been significant waits, and he said officials might be forced to remove the vehicle before that assistance arrives.

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