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Peoria evades freezing rain, but heavy snowfall still expected Thursday

A snapshot of the Murray Baker Bridge in East Peoria taken just before noon Thursday, Feb. 17.
Illinois Department of Transportation
A snapshot of the Murray Baker Bridge in East Peoria taken just before noon Thursday, Feb. 17.

The city of Peoria woke up to good news Thursday — little to no evidence of freezing rain.

"Thank God that didn't come in," the city's Public Works Deputy Director Sie Maroon said. "That was a great thing to wake up to."

Greater Peoria is still bracing for 3 to 9 inches of snow Thursday.

In anticipation of freezing rain and ice expected to precede Thursday's snow, the city pre-treated roads earlier this week with de-icing brine and salt solutions.

Maroon said this strategy is atypical.

"We were doing that to try something different, because of the fact that we were looking at ice coming in," he said.

The city's effort to pre-treat roads may still pay off, Maroon said; temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits late Thursday, and de-icing treatments generally stop working when temps hit 15 to 20 degrees.

Preventative de-icing efforts will likely help stop initial afternoon snowfall from "bonding" to the pavement — making the jobs of snow plow operators easier during the day, Maroon said.

Maroon said snow plows will hit arterial roads Thursday afternoon, transitioning to neighborhood streets overnight.

At the latest, Maroon expects neighborhood streets to be completely plowed by Friday afternoon or early evening.

If needed, contractors are "on hold" to help city crews plow, Maroon said.

Contractors were hired earlier this month to help the city tackle the two-wave Winter Storm Landon, which blanketed Greater Peoria with nearly a foot of snow.

Over the next 24 hours, Maroon said it's critical that residents remove their vehicles from the roads ... and try to refrain from driving unless absolutely necessary.

"We're just asking people to stay home just because of the amount of snow we're forecasted to receive," he said. "Parked cars and vehicles are our biggest challenge."

Q&A with IDOT's Matthew Vitner takes WCBU inside a Peoria 'super tandem' snow plow

Many Central Illinois schools and businesses are closing up Thursday ahead of the inclement weather.

For updates, check the National Weather Service's Lincoln branch.

Citywide parking ban

A city-wide parking ban has been issued for the city of Peoria from 10 p.m. Wednesday through 6 pm Saturday. The ban allows plows and emergency vehicles to access all city streets.

Residents should not move their cars to alleys. Cars parked on city streets may be subject to towing or a minimum of a $50 ticket.

Car owners are encouraged to move their cars to their driveways, or to the following alternative parking locations:

  • Twin Towers Parking Garage, 123 SW Jefferson Street
  • Niagara Deck, 109 W Adams Street
  • Jefferson Deck, 236 SW Jefferson Street

There will be no charge to residents using the decks, but drivers will need to take a ticket for access. Decks will be monitored by security. The parking decks will be available beginning 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Hannah Alani is a reporter at WCBU. She joined the newsroom in 2021. She can be reached at hmalani@ilstu.edu.