DANVILLE — Vermilion County's first snowstorm this winter caused about a couple dozen minor traffic accidents and knocked out power to about 1,000 Ameren Illinois customers, officials reported Wednesday.
The county was on the northern edge of a snowstorm that hit southern Illinois, Evansville, Ind., and Louisville, Ky., and dumped 10 to 15 inches on some areas, said Rick Harper, the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency's severe-weather manager.
The National Weather Service reported that Champaign received a trace of precipitation Wednesday.
Snow started falling in Vermilion County around 7:30 a.m. and eased up around noon or a little after, Harper said. According to reports, Georgetown and Ridge Farm received about 3 to 3 inches of snow, while Danville got about 2 inches and Hoopeston and Collison received "just a light dusting of snow," Harper said.
Winds were clocked at 35 to 40 miles per hour early in the morning, but they diminished as the day went on. They knocked down tree limbs in some areas, but no major damage was reported, EMA Director Ted Fisher said.
Illinois State Police, the Vermilion County Sheriff's Department and Danville police responded to a number of accidents, including a few along Interstate 74.
"This has been a pretty light storm, but we've had about a dozen accidents," said Capt. Dennis Wood of the sheriff's department. "Most of them were vehicles sliding off the road."
In one accident outside of Danville, a person was taken to the hospital to be checked for slight neck pain.
Wood cautioned motorists to use common sense while driving, including staying on main roads and allowing for extra time to get to their destination. And "if you don't have to be out, it would be a good idea to stay home," he said.
Some residents were without power for a couple of hours this morning, said Ameren Illinois spokesman Leigh Morris.
He said 913 customers in Oakwood lost power around 8:30 a.m., but it was restored by 10:15 a.m. About 85 customers in Fairmount lost power around 8:35 a.m.
"Everyone was back on around 10 a.m.," Morris said.