LATEST: Accidents clog I-72, I-74, I-57

LATEST: Accidents clog I-72, I-74, I-57

Above: Jason Knauff, building engineer at One Main in downtown Champaign, clears snow on Saturday morning.

What's it look like where you're at? Email pictures to news@news-gazette.com

Above: Officer Danielle Griffet of the Champaign Police Department pitched in on a snowy Saturday morning, shoveling a resident’s driveway on North Neil Street in #Champaign. ‘I’m just trying to keep busy between accidents,’ she told News-Gazette Media photographer @stephenhaas. ‘And, it’s a pretty good workout.’

The latest on Saturday's winter storm:

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The massive winter snowstorm that blanketed much of the Midwestern states was a factor in at least five road deaths on Saturday.

The storm moved into Kansas and Nebraska from the Rockies on Friday, then east into Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, covering roads and making driving dangerous. Part of Interstate 44 near St. Louis was blocked for several hours Saturday, and at one point the Missouri State Highway Patrol warned of traffic delays as long as eight hours.

At least five people were killed in crashes on slick roadways in Kansas and Missouri. They included a woman and her 14-year-old stepdaughter whose car slid into the path of a semitrailer in Clinton, about 80 miles southeast of Kansas City, on Friday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. Another woman died when her car slid on U.S. 24 in northern Missouri and was hit by an oncoming SUV.

In Kansas, a 62-year-old man died after his pickup truck skidded on the Kansas Turnpike and hit a concrete barrier, according to the patrol. Another crash involving two semitrailers in snowy conditions killed a 41-year-old driver from Mexico, the patrol said.

***

At noon: Westbound lanes on I-74 near Oakwood are open as the accident scene has been cleared, state police report.

***

At 11 a.m.: the last remaining area high school sporting event — the Vermilion County basketball tournament — has been called off. There were six games on the schedule at Palmer Arena.

Those games will now be played Monday.

Above: Southbound cars struggle to make it up snow-covered Neil Street at the Interstate 74 overpass.

***

At 10 a.m., Illinois State Police reported "I-74, I-57, and I-72 all have crashes and vehicles in the ditches/medians."

Above: Workers clear Main Street in Farmer City on Saturday, via News-Gazette Media's Steve Hoffman.

***

At 9 a.m. Illinois State Police reported they were dealing with a crash involving a semitrailer tractor truck on Interstate 74 westbound at milepost 207, just east of Oakwood. The road was reopened to through traffic by noon.

Troopers are also dealing with other vehicles on I-74 between Oakwood and Urbana that are stuck or in the median.

***

As of 7 a.m. Saturday, Danville Mass Transit is running on “essential services.” There is no Danville to  Champaign service this morning.

“We will evaluate on a trip by trip basis. With the snow potentially building through the day, we anticipate shutting down the 10 Danville to Champaign route for the remainder of Saturday.”

Other routes canceled for Saturday are the 3 Vermilion, 5 Fairchild and the 13 Tilton.

All other routes are on schedule.

***
The screening of “The S Word” Documentary hosted by Rattle the Stars at the  
Champaign Library at 9:30 a.m. Saturday has been cancelled due to weather.

***
The city of Monticello has declared a snow emergency, meaning no parking on designated snow routes. Vehicles left on them will be towed.
***

N-G Media meteoroligist Greg Soulje:

... WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM CST SUNDAY...

* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Storm total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches.

* WHERE...Portions of east-central Illinois.

* WHEN...until 6 AM CST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Travel could be very difficult.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for Illinois can be obtained by calling 1-800-452-4368.

Sections (3):News, Local, Weather
-