Weather plays havoc indoors and out
Keeps emergency workers hopping
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[JAN. 14, 2005]
Following the weather events
of Wednesday and Thursday, central Illinois residents may be
thinking that Mother Nature picked up the wrong book, or maybe she
was tired of the same old recipes for winter weather. The wide
diversity of weather has compounded the usual winter circumstances.
Residents, motorists and rescuers found
themselves gripped in all manner of weather-related challenges
Thursday. The warm, moisture-laden air mass that enveloped the area
Wednesday was shoved noisily out of the way during the night. One to
3 inches of rain accompanied the heavy lightning and thunder.
Saturated fields became lakes,
creeks and rivers swelled, running over roads. Roofs leaked and
As if that wasn't enough to keep
everyone busy, sleet coated the area Thursday morning, making an icy
Just one more ingredient was added
to make a complex recipe that would challenge first responders and
public works the rest of the day. Sleet changed to snow, and a heavy
layer soon covered the area. Rapidly dropping temperatures made
sheets of ice that continue to be covered with blowing snow.
Crews couldn't set "road closed"
signs out fast enough. Plows plowed. Rescuers didn't stop watching
floodwaters, preparing for evacuations, checking cars off the road
all day. It was a busy day.
Numerous service companies were out
in the inclement weather. Heavy rains and lightning affected some
telephone and power services.
Rescuers were put on standby with
boats ready to launch Thursday. One rescue call was issued early
Thursday afternoon at Lawndale. A nearly full propane tank began
floating lose in floodwaters. Workers bravely went out and secured
it with ropes.
As conditions worsened, responders
were forced to do a quick assessment of the many situations and move
on to the next. Numerous vehicles slid off roads and highways.
Officers checked for injuries and saw if the vehicle was still able
to run and had enough gasoline to keep the occupants warm until a
tow could attend to them. The wait for service became lengthy.
There was added concern for rising
water in ditches where some vehicles were stuck. One overanxious
motorist overinflated her plight. She said the water was up to the
bottom of her car door. But when firefighters arrived to her rescue,
the water was 6 inches below door bottom.
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Several Logan County
communities remain on flood watch
The hazards are not past. Lincoln
Lakes, Lawndale and Waynesville are all affected by creeks that can
back up from the Sangamon River. Terry Storer, assistant ESDA
director, said this morning that Salt Creek at Greenville is still
the greatest concern for flooding communities in Logan County. It is
expected to crest at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Motorists are urged to slow down and
exercise caution on country roads and highways. Ice and blowing snow
have created scattered slippery areas that are not always seen in
advance of being on them.
- 2500th Street between 1350th and
1450th (near Union).
This road will remain closed due to flood damage from Sugar Creek.
- Portions of 1250th Avenue (north
of Kickapoo Creek).
- 1400th Street at Rocky Ford.
- 2200th Avenue north of Chestnut
- 100th Avenue both north and south
of New Holland has closed areas.
Lawndale was, and some still is, under water. The following streets
Dress warm and be prepared to help
yourself or maybe someone else.