CHAMPAIGN – WEFT 90.1FM was knocked off the air Friday evening after its transmitter was struck by lightning, and may not return for several days, according to Station Manager Mick Woolf.
He said the strike occurred at about 6 p.m. as a powerful storm swept through the area, damaging a controller and circuit board critical to the operation of the station's 20-year-old transmitter.
CHAMPAIGN – In a typical year, Scott Bidner would have all his crops planted and growing on his farm north of Champaign.
By Wednesday, Bidner had only three-quarters of his corn and none of his soybeans planted due to a combination of frequent rains, muddy fields and cooler than normal temperatures.
CHAMPAIGN – It wasn't exactly the graduation gift Ryan Henrichs had in mind.
"One of my roommates came to my room and said, 'Henrichs, get out here, your car's just been annihilated,'" the University of Illinois student from Belleville, who graduated this weekend, said Sunday evening.
URBANA – Weather is always a popular topic of conversation in East Central Illinois – especially tornadoes.
And so it's time again for the free tornado safety seminar presented at 7 p.m. Thursday by WILL AM-FM-TV chief meteorologist Ed Kieser.
PESOTUM – As a winter storm moved into East Central Illinois, state police were handling many calls Tuesday.
Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Rory Steidl said troopers in District 10 had received reports of six crashes and 25 to 30 vehicles in ditches on state highways between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. today. No injuries were reported, he said.
While the first days of March were lamb-like enough to hint of better weather to come, Illinois got an early taste of the lion-like weather so often tearing up the state in the spring.
According to the National Weather Service, severe storms and flooding were seen in the southern half of Illinois – including central Illinois counties – in early February, and thunderstorms with large hail and wind damage, as well as a handful of tornadoes, hit central and northern Illinois on Jan. 7.
CHAMPAIGN – Sidewalks in the downtown and campus areas must be shoveled by 6 a.m. Wednesday or property owners run the risk of the city doing it for them and then sending them a bill.
City Public Works Director Dennis Schmidt on Friday declared that the city's sidewalk snow and ice removal policy was in effect, after several inches of snow fell Friday. According to unofficial National Weather Service information, Champaign and Urbana received about 4.5 inches of snow by late Friday afternoon.
Charles Bond has been a busy man lately.
Bond, a public works employee with the city of Urbana, is one of several workers whose job this time of year is filling those bone-jarring potholes that have drivers swerving like racing veterans.
ST. JOSEPH – St. Joseph Mayor B.J. Hackler said his village used this week's flooding "as a learning experience" to help the community better prepare for future floods.
"My staff took photos of different parts of town throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday to help us plan for stormwater management," Hackler said this morning.
VILLA GROVE – School was canceled in Villa Grove again today because of the messy trifecta of rising floodwaters from the Embarras River, melting snow and heavy rain.
Villa Grove residents and emergency officials are familiar with navigating these water problems, but even so, Fire Chief Ross Elston says they've never really seen this combination of heavy snow and heavy rain.