MT. VERNON — — As predicted, a major winter storm has produced a blanket of snow in Jefferson County, causing headaches for motorists, and postponing or canceling many local events.
All Jefferson County schools were closed late Thursday night after sleet came through the region, and turning to snow in the early evening hours. The Mt. Vernon area was one of the hardest areas hit by snow. Unofficially, about 9 inches of snow was recorded overnight, although with snow still falling by the noon hour, that total could have gone upward by this morning. Some news agencies reported the Mt. Vernon area could see as much as 14 inches of snow by the time it ends.
Area police departments reported all roads as snow packed, slick and hazardous on Friday. Mt. Vernon City Hall was closed for the day, as well as some businesses, although the Jefferson County Courthouse was open for business.
Illinois Department of Transportation officials say Interstate 57 and major highways in Jefferson County is snow packed and ice covered. Traffic on Interstate 64 was reportedly slow during the morning commute, with only one driving lane and motorists traveling only about 30 mph.
Road conditions are provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation by calling 1-800-452-4368.
If travel is necessary, motorists are urged to use extreme caution. The National Weather Service suggests you begin your travel with a full tank of gas and carry a winter storm kit which includes a shovel, flashlight, cellphone and blankets of extra warm clothing.
A full list of cancelations and postponements is listed on our web site, www.register-news.com.