SHOVELING SLEET, DOWN WIRES, POWER OUTAGES, DANGEROUS ROADS
Official precipitation totals are in from the storm of the last 2 days. At the sewer plan, 3 inches of sleet feel, ¼ inch of ice and ¼ inch of snow. The huge winter storm dumped it’s precipitation over most of the middle part of the country. Roads will be slick this morning as the sleet compacts and the small amount of snow that feel in our area blows around. Also winds will continue to be strong through most of the day. Power outages have been a big concern starting yesterday evening. Ameren reported outages in Mulberry Grove and the surrounding area, in Clinton County and near Highland. Ameren’s site showed outages to over 30,000 people across the state. Southwestern Electric Cooperative has released numbers on their outage. At news time 1,940 customers are without power. According to the cooperative, many of the customers out of power are in Fayette county where two substations lost power. There are also outages in Bond and Effingham Counties. We’ve had reports of some homes in Bond County without power for over 12 hours. There was no estimated times of power restoration from Southwestern Electric or Ameren IP.
The storm kept firefighters busy as well. Greenville firefighters responded to at least three reports of down power lines, one in Pauls’ Friendly City, one on Hunter School Avenue, and one on Red Ball Trail. Since the winds will remain strong and no melting is in sight, more outages and downed lines are possible. If you see a downed line do not go near it, call the power company and the police, especially if the line is in a roadway. There were also multiple reports of tree limbs down, of a tree down on Idler Lane, and a large limb down in Paul's Friendly City. Greenville Police received 4 calls about downed power lines and 2 calls about transformers on fire. County and city police both passed a relatively quite night considering the conditions outside. Many who didn't’t need to be out stayed inside.
The Illinois State Police,District 11 in Collinsville, had a busy day, but said it could have been much worse. The ISP in our area worked 29 accidents, three of those involving injuries. They also helped just over 50 stranded motorists. State police say traffic volume was very low during the storm, and many people simply did not travel at all. According to the state police, interstates are passable but still snow/sleet/ and slush covered. They continue to urge anyone who does not need to travel to stay inside and remind drivers that areas that look clear could still be ice covered.
Now that the precipitation is done, the wind and the dangerously low temperatures are upon us. Low’s tonight are likely to dip below 0 with wind chills well below zero. The national weather service is likely to issue a wind chill advisory for later today.