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High wind warning in effect Thursday evening

EMA warns of 60 MPH winds, more flooding later this month

Published: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 6:52 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 3:01 p.m. CDT
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(Kyle Grillot - kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
A motorist drives through wet snowy conditions along Birch Lane in Fox River Grove Thursday, February 20, 2014. The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for much of northeastern Illinois, including portions of southern McHenry County.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for McHenry County beginning at 5 p.m.

David Christensen, director of the McHenry County Emergency Management Agency, said as winds are expected to reach up to 60 MPH tonight, some residents may lose power, creating problems for those who need to remove standing water with a sump pump.

The wind warning will expire around 11 p.m. A dense fog advisory also is in effect until 7 p.m. Visibilities could be down to a quarter-mile during the advisory.

Christensen said residents should expect some isolated flooding today due to blocked culverts and other drainage issues, but flooding could become a larger concern later this month.

"Long term, we could see some flooding like what we had last year in April," he said. "Once the water starts moving down from Wisconsin, it could be a problem."

Christensen urged residents to call their insurance agent to determine what they are covered for in case of a flood. It's also important to make sure gutters and downspout extension pipes are free of snow, ice, and any other objects, he said.

Overnight precipitation and melting snow created the potential for flooding in the county.

The weather service issued a flood advisory for much of northeastern Illinois, including portions of southern McHenry County, which ended at noon.

Heavy rain fell across the county, with some areas receiving a mix of rain and snow overnight. Areas like Spring Grove got up to four inches of snow. The wintery mix turned to all rain later in the morning.

The weather caused some hazardous road conditions in the county. Earlier this morning in Marengo, a four-car crash shut down Route 20 in both directions near Church Road, according to the McHenry County Sheriff's Office. Traffic was backed up to Coral Road but is now moving normally.

An accident also closed Route 120 in McHenry Thursday morning, according to the McHenry Police Department.

The McHenry Police Department sent a Nixle alert warning residents of hazardous road conditions in the area.

"Those traveling near McHenry / Lake Counties and surrounding areas should be aware of overnight weather conditions to include temperatures hovering around freezing point," the alert said. "This caused a mixture of rain, sleet and snow resulting in slippery/icy road surfaces. All commuters are encouraged to reduce speeds and use caution in their morning commute."

-Jim Dallke

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