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Second storm in a week for Ogle County

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 12:33 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 1:51 p.m. CDT
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A car sits in the ditch along Ill. 2 south of Oregon Tuesday morning as an Ogle County Sheriff's Deputy monitors the situation. More snow was expected to fall during the afternoon and evening followed by strong winds. Photo by Earleen Hinton
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Jared Lamb, 13, was busy making a fort in front of a house on Franklin Street Tuesday afternoon. Several inches of heavy, packing snow, provided the perfect materials for snowmen and forts. Photo by Earleen Hinton
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This snowlady, complete with wooden eyes, was wearing a bright pink scarf as she stood in a yard on Aldrin Street. More winter weather arrived in Oregon Tuesday. Photo by Earleen Hinton

Schools across Ogle County closed for the day Tuesday and even super-sectional basketball games were re-scheduled in anticipation of what was touted as the winter's biggest snowstorm.

Ogle County offices closed at noon, as did the Oregon City Hall and the Mt. Morris Village Hall to allow staff members to get home safely before the worst of the storm was expected to arrive.

In Forreston and Polo, the municipal offices remained open.

Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn advised motorists to stay off the roads if at all possible, especially in the afternoon and evening when the heaviest snow was expected to fall and winds were predicted to increase, causing drifting.

Forecasters were mixed on the amount of the snow the storm would bring to the area; predictions ranged from 4 to 12 inches.

The large storm system came out of the Northwest, through the Dakotas and Minnesota to Iowa and northern Illinois.

The snow began in Ogle County during the wee hours Tuesday morning. Approximately six inches had fallen by noon.

Ogle County Highway Engineer Curtis Cook said early in the afternoon that the winds were remaining light.

"There's no drifting yet, but the roads are becoming snow-covered," he said about 1 p.m. "The winds are expected to pick up this evening and that will change things."

Snow plows hit the county roads around 4 a.m., Cook said, and would keep at it until at least 6 p.m.

"It takes three to four hours for the drivers to make their rounds so the roads do get snow-covered in that time until they get back to them," he said.

Strong east winds Monday caused drifting on the county's north-south roads, even though only about an inch of snow had fallen.

"All day long our guys chased those drifts," Cook said. "The wind died down on the east side of the county and that helped, but on the west side the drifting continued until late Monday night."

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