Village of Orland Park Braces for More Snow & Frigid Temperatures

Village of Orland Park Braces for More Snow & Frigid Temperatures
Posted on 01/27/2014

ORLAND PARK, IL (January 24, 2014) --- Village of Orland Park officials and staff are carefully watching the Chicago area forecast. Record breaking cold temperatures coupled with additional snow will again keep the village’s Public Works Department busy.

“We’re expecting one to three inches of snow on Saturday with another two to four inches on Sunday,” said Director of Infrastructure Maintenance John Ingram. “The additional snow will be followed by extremely cold temperatures into early next week,” he said.

“Drifting snow will be a problem throughout the weekend with open areas most problematic,” Ingram said. “With these conditions, it’s not unusual for roads to be covered with snow soon after being cleared,” he said.

The record breaking winter has affected towns across the Midwest as municipal road salt supplies run low.

“Some communities are completely out of road salt because demands are exceeding what the suppliers can provide,” Ingram said.

Orland Park receives its road salt from Cargill; however, the ice in Lake Michigan has forced Cargill to redirect its shipments through the canal to Joliet.

“Salt suppliers throughout the Midwest are trying to keep their customers stocked,” Ingram said. “Orland Park is expecting another delivery today, Friday, which is enough to get us through a major storm with some extra,” he said.

“However, because suppliers are having a hard time delivering and because road salt does not work in extremely low temperatures, village crews will be very conservative when salting,” Ingram said.

Village crews will continue to use liquid de-icers during the severely cold temperatures when road salt is less effective. Motorists are asked to be patient and exercise caution especially when driving on side streets.

There is a 100% chance of one to three inches of snow predicted for Friday night between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday. The weather for Saturday calls for blowing and drifting snow, sunny with temperatures falling to near 10 degrees by 4 a.m. with wind gusts as high as 30 mph and a wind chill of -9. Sunday’s high is expected to be near 24 with the wind at 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Sunday night brings a 70% chance of an additional two to four inches from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Village crews will be out throughout most of the weekend. Major arterial streets, intersections, curves and hills will receive salting priority.

“We ask that everyone be patient and travel cautiously,” Ingram said. “Motorists should be prepared to drive on snow pack for a few days because of the extreme cold and the limited effect of road salt in these temperatures,” he said, adding, “Allow extra time and remind all drivers in your family to be very, very careful when driving these next few days.”

Residents are encouraged to check on elderly and disabled residents in their neighborhoods. 
“This extreme weather is very hard on the elderly and the disabled,” said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. “Many are unable to go out because of the wind and ice and they may need something as simple as a gallon of milk from the store,” the mayor said. “Please call and check on your neighbors.”

The Orland Park Police Station at 15100 South Ravinia Avenue is the village’s primary warming center with other buildings being available as needed. “The police station is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” McLaughlin said.

“This winter has been one of the toughest I’ve seen in my 27 years with the village,” Ingram said. “Our crews are doing everything they can to make the village streets as safe and accessible as they can and everyone’s cooperation and patience are greatly appreciated."

As of Thursday, January 23rd, Orland Park’s total snow accumulation for the 2013-2014 winter season has been 36.75 inches with crews being called out 34 times.

Last snow season, the village recorded a total of 18 inches with 34 call outs and in 2011-2012 recorded 28 inches with 25 callouts.

The village’s snow fighting crews have covered 44,246 miles during this year’s winter season compared to 33,558 during the 2012-2013 season and 24,491 miles during the 2011-2012 season.

Salt usage as of January 24 of this year has been 4187 tons with village crews dropping about 227 pounds per mile. Total salt usage for the 2012-13 seasons was 4225 tons with 2485 tons in 2011-12.

The village’s Public Works Department shares its Top Ten Snow List each winter, asking for residents’ help when it snows. These include no parking on village streets once two inches of snow fall, keeping parked vehicles off of the streets for 10 hours after a snow event, pushing shoveled snow to the lawn and never to the street and keeping trash toters well behind the curbline.

“Where residents push their shoveled snow is huge,” Ingram said. “We can see the houses that are pushing it to the street because they now have icy, very dangerous patches in front of their homes. And, they’re probably having trouble pulling into their own driveways because they’ve made the street so slick,” he said.

“Do not shovel snow into the street,” Ingram emphasized, adding, “You are endangering your neighbors and your own family members by creating an unnecessary hazard.”

Orland Park’s snow tips also include making fire hydrants accessible and visible for firefighters.

“If you’re physically able to, shovel a path to the hydrant from the street,” Ingram said. “This way, the firefighters can quickly pull up and access the hydrant in an emergency.” Residents are asked to clear a three foot perimeter around the hydrant.

“If you can’t clear the hydrant, call one of your neighbors,” Ingram said. “Everyone on your block has a vested interest in making sure firefighters can see and get to hydrants quickly in an emergency,” he added.

Orland Park’s full list of snow tips can be found on the village’s website at Questions about snow removal in the village can be directed to the Public Works Department at 708/403-6350.