Streets Improve In C-U, County Roads Still Impassable
By Jeff Bossert
While road conditions are improving inside Champaign and Urbana city limits, authorities ask that travel not be attempted in rural areas.
Champaign County Emergency Management Spokesman Rick Atterberry said those roads remain impassable in most locations because of blowing and drifting snow and limited visibilities.
He said there are hundreds of vehicles stuck in the county, slowing plowing operations, with drifts in some areas as high as eight feet.
Atteberry said given the severe wind chills, getting trapped in a car in a rural area could be a life threatening situation.
He said Route 150 between Urbana and St. Joseph remains a major trouble spot as of late Monday morning.
“About 100 semi trucks ended up being stuck mid-afternoon to late afternoon Sunday, and they’re still there- while the state tries to get one lane open anyway, so that they can start moving those trucks," he said. "It’s a slow go getting that untangled there.”
As of 10 a.m., Illinois State Police said Interstates 57, 72, and 74 are extremely dangerous with snow-packed drifts and icy patches.
Meanwhile, warming centers are available at the Salvation Army Locations on Market Street and Prospect Avenue in Champaign, and at the Savoy United Methodist Church on Old Orchard Road.
Savoy UMC Pastor Jim McClarey said it’s serving as a kind of an impromptu shelter for anyone who needs to get out of the cold, with about eight people staying there as of late Monday morning.
State-operated warming centers remain open in Champaign at 1307 N. Mattis Avenue, and 705 N. Country Fair Drive. Another in Danville is operating at 407 N. Franklin Ave.