Snow causes headaches long after it melts

News-DemocratJanuary 10, 2014 

Melting snow may cause new problems for residents who finally are getting dug out from the winter storm. According to National Weather Service meteorologists, melting snow combined with Friday’s rain, is likely to cause flooding problems across the metro-east.

Illinois Department of Transportation district engineer Joseph Monroe said crews have switched from snow removal to the daunting job of trying to keep up with a rash of potholes expected due to an over-abundance of moisture and rapidlychanging temperatures.

“We’re dealing with potholes just like we knew we would be,” Monroe said. “We have as many crews out as we can to try to seal things up before the next batch of weather.”

When asked if there were any areas where potholes were especially bad, Monroe said: “They’re everywhere.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation had 1,755 trucks assigned to snow duty across the state, and nearly 3,700 full-time and part-time employees available to help ensure roads were clear and passable, according to numbers released by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Statewide, plow crews dispersed more than of 70,000 tons of salt on Illinois roadways during the weather emergency.

“People across our state stepped up to help, from those driving the salt and plow trucks at all hours of the night to keep interstates safe to our neighbors who checked on their neighbors during extremely low temperatures,” Quinn said. “This was an amazing effort during an amazing winter storm.”

Typically, after a large winter storm clean-up operation ends, Monroe said IDOT workers would dedicate a whole day to cleaning and doing maintenance work on their trucks. But Monroe said there is no time; the potholes take priority and the vehicles would have to wait.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at   or call 618-239-2626.

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