New 8:07 p.m. Wednesday:
The severe thunderstorm watches and warnings have expired. Ameren reports that nearly all customers in East Central have had their power restored.
New 5:24 p.m. Wednsday:
A flood warning has been issued for the Sangamon River at Monticello from Wednesday afternoon until late Friday night.
The river's water level is expected to hit 13.5 feet by Thursday afternoon, which will mean flooding of nearby farm fields and other low-lying areas. The water is expected to go down by Friday night.
The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for portions of central Illinois and East Central Illinois:
TILTON — All told, the National Weather Service has about 4,000 sets of watchful eyes to turn to anytime there's a major event brewing in central Illinois.
But you can never have enough storm spotters, says Rick Harper, severe weather coordinator for the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency.
Jim Page and Mike Metzler can tell you exactly what they were doing 20 years ago Tuesday.
How do they remember so clearly?
Because on the evening of April 19, 1996, all hell broke loose.
Both worked for the Urbana police department. Page had been at a training session all day that Friday. Metzler's day had started in the wee hours with an unscheduled work task.
These days, SCOTT KOENEMAN is assistant dean of libraries for advancement at the University of Illinois.
On Friday evening, April 19, 1996, Koeneman was city editor at The News-Gazette, a position he'd held about a year at that point. It was his job to assign and supervise reporters and coordinate the paper's news report.
A freeze warning has been issued for all of East Central Illinois except Ford and Iroquois counties from 12 a..m to 9 a.m. Tuesday. Temperatures could dip into mid 20s. So bring your plants and pets inside if you can, and wear warm clothes if you're outside at night.
New 9:39 a.m. Friday:
A freeze warning is in effect from 1a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday for all of East Central Illinois except Ford and Iroquois counties. Temperatures are expected to dip into the mid to upper 20s. Bring sensitive plants inside if possible.
Original story Thursday:
New 9:51 a.m. Monday:
A freeze warning has been issued for several area counties on Tuesday. More from the National Weather Service:
March weather: By the numbers
Consecutive months in which temperatures have been above average. Over the long term, the average March temperature in Champaign-Urbana is 40 degrees. Last month, it was 47.8 degrees.