Snowstorm hits with bad timing

The first major snowstorm of the winter may have come late this season, but it came at a bad time for NIU students returning to DeKalb from Christmas Break.

The DeKalb area was stricken with hazardous travel conditions Friday and Saturday, and accident rates soared. Roads were dangerous although NIU and DeKalb County crews continued to clear the snow throughout the weekend.

The Rockford Weather Bureau reported a snowfall of four to five inches for both the DeKalb and Rockford areas. A winter storm warning/travel advisory was issued Friday at 12:45 p.m.

The DeKalb Police Department reported about 30 automobile accidents in the DeKalb area, most of which were minor. Pat’s and D.C.T. Towing said they retrieved several vehicles from ditches of DeKalb area highways. Lovett’s Towing reported 39 tows, including one accident at First and Bethany Roads in which a woman received critical injuries after her car was hit by a Jeep, said owner Bill Lovett.

The DeKalb County Highway Department said it was prepared for the snowstorm and had 10 plows clearing roads Friday afternoon. Plowing continued 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and again on Sunday.

NIU Grounds Foreman Tom Anderson said campus snowplowing began at midnight on Friday and continued through Sunday. Anderson said the grounds crew had an adequate supply of equipment for the job, and most student parking lots were cleared before the majority of students began to arrive on Sunday.