High winds, rapidly falling temperatures and rain changed over to
snow wreaked havoc throughout central Illinois. Just as night fell,
power began failing and roads turned treacherous for the evening
Terry Storer, deputy director of the Logan County Emergency
Management Agency, said: "It is unusual that a 2-inch snowstorm
cause this much trouble."
But the winds and rapid drop in temperature led to black ice on
roadways. The wind also contributed to power outages.
No major injuries or deaths were reported in the hundreds of
vehicles that slid off roadways, county highways, and Interstates 55
and 155 in Logan County.
Numerous trucks jackknifed due to east-west 50-55 mph crosswinds.
Trucks caused lane blockages on both interstates, stopping all
traffic. As more snow fell just after dark, officers in the field
began reporting zero visibility and soon reported difficulty
identifying the roadways.
Just after 6 p.m. Illinois State Police District 9 announced
multiple road closures due to vehicles off the road and crashes on
all central Illinois state and U.S. routes and Interstates 55 and
Motorists forced to abandon their vehicles on the interstates
were transported by responders to warming centers for the night.
Storer said that today's big work on the interstates will be
getting semitrailers out of the medians. A lot of people would also
be returning to recover their cars from the interstates, county
highway and road ditches.
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Approximately 2,400 Ameren customers lost power in Latham,
Chestnut, west of Lincoln Parkway and 24 users in Elkhart. Main
connections were all restored, with some individual site connections
yet needed. An estimated 230 customers were still out of power this
The flickering power led to burglar alarms being tripped, which
law enforcement had to investigate at the peak of the storm.
Several roads were closed after tree limbs brought down power
lines, some of which were electrical and arcing.
While it's a bit windy yet today, mild weather is forecast, with
warming temperatures the next few days.