Record snowfall keeps police, auto body shops busy as drivers collide, get stuck


Sunday night’s snowfall set several records in Rockford, becoming the snowiest November day on record, with 11.7 inches being recorded at the airport at midnight.

With only five days left in the month, November 2018 has set the record for the most snow in November, ever, with a total of 15.6 inches this month, not including what fell past midnight, which hasn’t been recorded yet.

The heavy snowfall causing hazardous driving conditions for travelers and a busy night for the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputies, and a busy Monday for local auto body shops.

“Since probably 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, we’ve been getting motorist assist calls, people sliding into the ditches, minor accidents,” said Deputy Chief Dominick Barcelona. “We’ve been to dozens of them.”

“We had a lot of our squads getting stuck, a lot of the tow trucks that were going out were getting stuck, so, yeah, it was not a good night to be driving,” he continued.

The snowy conditions turned traffic into bumper cars on the streets.

Tony Arbisi, the Vice President of Crash 1 Off Alpine, said, “You’ll see undercarriage damage, suspension damage. You’ll see lower-bumper damage…from driving over snow banks. Sometimes [it’s] rims, from impacting something hard on the other side. If it gets really bad, grills, head lamps. It depends on what they hit when they go off, it can go all the way into the hood.”

A minivan got stuck Monday morning trying to enter Route 20 from Montague, causing several drivers to stop and help, one of whom got stuck himself.

Conner and Joanna Schexnayder, who were in a similar situation on Sunday night, pulled over to help and get the stuck cars free.

“We have a shovel in the back of our truck. We had trouble getting home last night and got stuck twice, and we figured we can help,” Conner said.

“If you live in the area and you know what it’s like to be stuck in the snow…you want to stop and help everybody you can,” Joanna agreed.

While the main streets in Rockford have been cleared, the residential streets and rural roads are still an area of concern for drivers. Police say travelers should use caution.

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