MONTICELLO – Forgive Monticello resident Edie Poling for fretting over severe weather warnings. Her house seems to attract errant tree limbs.
Work crews on Tuesday afternoon were in the midst of repairing roof damage caused in last November's ice storm, when a 25- to 30-inch thick limb from a hard maple tree fell through the roof above her front porch.
CHAMPAIGN – Fans of Curtis Orchard's Honeycrisp apples will be happy to know they're going to be OK.
Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Arkansas Blacks – a popular variety that's rare in Illinois – also weathered recent frigid temperatures well, said Randy Graham, an owner of the Champaign orchard who has spent sleepless nights the past week monitoring digital thermometers, checking about 50 heaters and stoking eight fires to keep his crop alive.
CHAMPAIGN – About 1,500 AmerenIP customers were without power for about two hours Sunday afternoon.
High winds blew a sign down on a power line about 2:30 p.m. in Champaign, said spokesman Leigh Morris.
A series of spring storms moving through central Illinois this week serves as a good reminder that people should be prepared for severe weather, officials say.
"Spring storms can cause a variety of damages," said Douglas County Emergency Management Director Joe Victor. "Mother Nature is so unpredictable."
CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois students, like a lot of residents, had a hard time getting around during last month's blizzard and its aftermath.
And part of the problem was businesses that didn't bother to shovel their sidewalks, forcing students to climb snow mountains or walk in the streets, said Ariel Avila, a vice president of the University of Illinois Student Senate.
As M&M-size drops of hail peppered the ground on Saturday afternoon, more than 20 car accidents were reported around Champaign County between 2 and 3 p.m. alone, according to the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency.
"People were just driving too fast or sliding off the road or rolling over," said Bill Keller, the agency's director, on Saturday evening. He said most of the accidents were on the highways.
Monday's warm temperatures may have been delightful to some, but overnight freezing meant dangerous conditions on city sidewalks and parking lots this morning.
"We've got a lot of gravity issues," said Carle Foundation Hospital emergency department physician Robert Kiskaddon. "We're seeing a lot of people going to work, going to school and slipping and falling."
The fresh snow that blanketed Central Illinois early Saturday, accompanied by winds, had area police and highway crews scrambling.
"There are a lot of cars in the ditches," Master Sgt. Kevin Riddle of the state police post at Pesotum said Saturday. "They find themselves on a dry stretch and think it's okay to get back up to speed and then they come to a spot where there's snow blowing across and they can't get slowed back down."
CHAMPAIGN – Finally, back to the books.
Champaign students were in school today for the first time in a week.
CHAMPAIGN – Mike Walsh was shoveling his driveway in the Sawgrass subdivision Wednesday morning, and he was nearly done.
At the end of his driveway at 821 Bluegrass Lane was a prize of sorts. A red GMC Envoy had gotten stuck in the snow the evening before and now it was blocking most of his driveway. Walsh had no idea who owned the vehicle.