SPRINGFIELD – In news this week, the recent cold weather and the late harvest have led to a propane emergency across the Land of Lincoln.

Meanwhile, AAA predicts a busy week of travel for Thanksgiving, while the Illinois Department of Public Health is offering tips to keep the food safe once guests arrive. And the Illinois State Fair is offering up early deals on their Mega passes.

Cold weather and late harvest lead to propane emergency across state

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently issued a Regional Emergency Declaration due to a shortage of propane in Illinois. Illinois is one of seven states to receive this declaration, which makes it easier to transport and deliver propane to areas in short supply.

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the shortage can be attributed to the early onset of winter weather and increased demand for fuel for drying grain. The unusually wet year delayed harvest for most farmers and left nearly all of them harvesting their crops at higher-than-normal moisture levels.

Many farmers are still struggling to finish harvesting crops. According to the most recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture, the corn harvest in Illinois is only 80 percent complete at this point, compared to a five-year-average of 97 percent. Soybeans are only 92 percent harvested, which also

trails the five-year-average of 98 percent.​

 

Big travel weekend expected for Thanksgiving holiday

If you’re planning to travel during the Thanksgiving weekend, you should expect to have plenty of company on the roads and in the skies.

According to AAA, at least 55 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to the organization, that projection is 1.6 million higher than last year, making it the second highest Thanksgiving travel volume since the group began tracking it in 2000.

AAA is predicting approximately 49.3 million will travel by car, 4.45 million will fly, and 1.49 million will travel by bus, train, or boat. If you’re driving, you may want to leave before or after Wednesday, the group says travel times on that day could take up to four times as long. Learn more about how travel delays could impact your holiday plans at this link: https://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/travel-forecast/

 

Keep your Thanksgiving feast safe

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has its own recommendations for Thanksgiving celebrations to prepare and keep your food healthy and safe.

According to IDPH, there are three keys to food safety:

• Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

• Keep everything in the kitchen clean.

• Wash your hands frequently.

The agency is also reminding people to keep cooked foods refrigerated if they are not to be served immediately. If food is left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, there is a higher chance of bacterial growth.

For the full list of recommendations and tips, please visit the IDPH website at: http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/food-safety/holidays

Save money now on State Fair passes

As you prepare for the holiday season, the Illinois Department of Agriculture says a pass to the 2020 Illinois State Fair might just be the perfect gift for loved ones on your list.

The 2020 Illinois State Fair Mega passes are now on sale, which offer up unlimited rides in both the Carnival Midway and Adventure Village. Right now it’s just $60 to ride all the rides, but the Mega Pass goes up to $70 on January 1, and then $90 on August 1.

Admission bargain books and Seasonal Infield Parking Passes are also on sale for the 2020 event. For more information, visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/statefair/Pages/default.aspx