BREAKING – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has declared a state of disaster for the state following the severe snowstorm and extreme cold. Governor Quinn today implemented the State’s Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government Plans (COOP/COG).
According to The Bulge, the plans will ensure continued delivery of critical state response services during the severe winter weather conditions while ensuring the safety of the state’s workforce.
“As we continue to monitor weather conditions and work nonstop to respond to this winter storm, we will ensure that critical state services continue,” said Governor Quinn in a statement “To protect the safety of our employees and the people they serve, I am directing state employees whose duties are not critical to state services to stay home and off the roads on Monday.”
This emergency declaration comes after a snow storm that dropped close to a foot of new snow in many areas. The storm was followed by an arctic freeze that had closed down many places of work and schools. The bitter cold has brought temperatures well below zero, with wind chills reaching anywhere from 20 below zero, to nearly 45 below zero.
These sever winter weather conditions have made travel on both local streets and major highways difficult, leaving many stranded overnight through Sunday. CBS Chicago stated that there were 130 vehicle crashes and 630 motorists had to be rescued through Sunday night.
Drivers across the state are being urged to stay indoors and to avoid any and all travel that isn’t necessary. According to CBS Chicago, the state of Illinois has used 9,400 tons of salt and 1,900 tons of liquid chloride to help de-ice the roads. The state of Illinois is continuing to update additional road information on its website.
These bitter temperatures are expected to last through Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday before the state starts to see any signs of a warm up.