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Season’s first major storm on its way

Even-odd parking the norm in most area cities

You knew it had to happen: Snow is in the forecast today through Friday, with blizzard-like conditions Wednesday and Thursday that include rain, blowing snow and accumulations of up to 6 inches, the National Weather Service says.

Go to to keep up to date with the storm, which NWS meteorologists have named Draco (the dragon).

With that in mind, local cities are reminding residents of their emergency parking rules.

In Dixon

Dixon instituted an even-odd parking ordinance last winter. For most residents, that means if there’s more than 2 inches of snow on the ground, cars must park on even sides of the streets on even calendar days and on odd sides on odd days, between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Residents who live on streets where parking is permitted only on one side of the road still must follow the ordinance. They are encouraged to use their driveways until the road has been cleared. If there are no parking options, they should call the police department so arrangements can be made.

The even/odd parking rules do not apply to the central business district, where no parking is allowed in the streets or parking lots between 2 and 6 a.m., so the city crews can clean the streets and lots for the next business day.

Once a side of the road has been cleared for an entire block, parking can resume as normal.

The fine for a violation starts at $75, but it increases to $100 after 10 days. After 20 days, Dixon Police can take the vehicle’s owner to court and collect a $150 fine.

Call Dixon Police, 815-288-4411, or go to for more information.

In Sterling

During a snow emergency, all parked vehicles must comply with the city’s snow emergency parking regulations. That means:

No parking on snow routes until all snow has been removed from the full width of the street.

No parking in the central business district and in city parking lots from 1:30 to 5:30 a.m.

Odd and even parking restrictions will be in effect on all other city streets. Residents should park on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered days of the calendar month, and park on the even side on even-numbered days. Tickets will not be issued between 6 and 8 a.m.

These parking restrictions will end block by block after the snowfall stops, and when all accumulated snow has been removed from the full width of the street, or when the snow emergency is canceled by the city.

Violators will be ticketed and their cars may be towed, at their expense. Call the Sterling Police Department, 815-632-6640, or the public works department, 815-625-6040, with questions.

In Rock Falls

During a snow emergency – once 2 inches of snow have accumulated – parking is banned from 2 to 5 a.m. in the following downtown areas:

West Second Street from First Avenue to Fourth Avenue.

East Second Street to East Third Street.

The 200 block of Second, Third, and Fourth avenues.

First Avenue from the bridge to Dixon Avenue.

For streets designated as snow routes, no parking is allowed at all until the snow has been removed from the full width of the street, on a block-by-block basis.

On all other streets, between 6 a .m. and 8 p.m., residents must park on the even-numbered side of the street on an even-numbered day, and on the odd-numbered side on an odd-numbered day, until the snow has been removed from the full width of the street, on a block-by-block basis.

Go to or call Rock Falls Police, 815-622-1140, for more information on the ordinance.

The forecast

Today: Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of light afternoon rain, high around 40 and east winds 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Blustery, with rain in the evening and rain or snow after midnight, but no accumulation. Low in the low 30s. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph, gusting to 30 mph after midnight.

Thursday: Snow and wind, with areas of blowing snow and 5-6 inches of snow accumulation possible. High in the low 30s. North wind 20 to 30 mph increasing to northwest 30 to 40 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday night: Windy and cold, with areas of blowing snow. Low around 12. Northwest wind 20 to 30 mph, gusting to 45 mph in the evening. Wind chill readings to 6 below.

Friday: Sunny, but even colder. High in the low 20s.

Friday night through Sunday: Mostly clear. Low around 13. High In the upper 20s.

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