Weather worries continue throughout the Fox Valley
By Suzanne Baker firstname.lastname@example.org February 19, 2014 5:26PM
Updated: February 20, 2014 10:10AM
With the snow melting and the potential for rain into Thursday, river levels aren’t the only thing being monitored this week. Many people are looking up to see how their roofs and gutters are holding up this winter.
The National Weather Service is warning people in the Fox Valley that Thursday morning could see snow or ice accumulations, sleet or freezing rain before warmer temperatures arrive late in the day. The wintry mix will then switch over to all rain and even some thunderstorms. Up to an inch of rain is expected.
Even those who aren’t close to rivers and streams are weary of the rain and melting snow.
Local school districts are watching the roofs and school grounds carefully to ensure students’ safety.
Indian Prairie School District 204’s Executive Director of Communication Services Janet Buglio said this winter has been challenging and the district has enough salt for surfaces.
“Regarding roofs, where it has been safe to do so, our custodians have removed snow from roofs,” she said “The upcoming melting and rain are concerns we have as well.”
Oswego, like other villages and municipalities in the region, has seen its share of frozen water lines as well.
On Tuesday, Public Works Director Jennifer Hughes said the department has responded to 20 calls for frozen water pipes from homes and businesses.
Hughes said the extremely cold winter has driven heavy frost to unprecedented depths, causing water lines to freeze.
“It is like wrapping an ice cube around the water main,” Hughes said. “If the water isn’t flowing in a rapid fashion, it will freeze.”
Hughes said they have been checking the depths, five and six feet down.
“The lines are well within code and sufficient depth. There is just no insulation down there,” Hughes said.
Hughes said under village code, residents are responsible for the service line from the house, but they are finding that is not where some of the problems have occurred.
Hughes said they have been working with a plumber to restore water service at impacted locations until the village can acquire a $2,500 micro jetter that threads a fine line through the water pipe and pushes high-pressured hot water to melt the ice.
The machines are in high demand from communities experiencing similar problems.
“Everybody is going through this process, this is a widespread problem. It’s like the salt, everybody wants it,” Hughes said.
The harsh weather is also having an impact beyond just buildings. The city of Aurora closed the westbound, outside lane of McCoy Drive at the EJ&E railroad tracks overnight Wednesday due to pavement buckling.
The city said the closure will be in place “until further notice.”
The westbound inside lane will remain open. However, motorists are urged to pay attention to signs that have been posted in the area advising them to reduce their speeds. The buckling is due to recent temperature swings, Aurora officials said.