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Heavy snow and blinding winds have already forced cancellation of Wednesday classes at many area schools, including the University of Illinois.
According to a UI release, "Continuing high winds and snow
have made it impossible to keep streets and sidewalks clear and safe. Only personnel providing critical services should continue to report for each work shift until further notice."
Wednesday classes at the UI Child Development Lab also were canceled.
The university followed the example set earlier in the day by area school districts, including those in Champaign and Urbana.
CHAMPAIGN – The blizzard warning issued for most of East Central Illinois was expected to remain in effect through tonight, according to the National Weather Service at Lincoln.
"While winds will begin to subside later this evening, blowing and drifting of snow will continue to be a problem into Wednesday morning," the weather service's Web site stated this morning. "Travel is strongly discouraged."
Here are suggestions for staying safe in severe winter weather in your car and at home:
Recent freezing temperatures may make some ask, "What global warming?"
"Winter has finally reared its ugly face," said Samuel Shea, weather service climatologist for the Midwestern Region Climate Center.
The first major snowstorm of 2007 was to blame for three dozen interstate crashes in state police District 10, including one accident that killed an Ogden woman Tuesday morning.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Kristina Wills, 28, was a passenger in a van driven by her husband, David Wills, that was involved in a three-vehicle collision on Interstate 74 caused by the snow about 11:50 a.m. at the Illinois Central overpass on Champaign's north side.
It's rained a lot this winter, but that doesn't mean the drought is over for Illinois.
In fact, if the coming spring is anything like last year's spring, the state's water resources could become depleted faster than they did in 2005, according to a recent report by the Illinois Drought Response Task Force.