Chicago appears to have dodged the worst of an early-spring snow system that is dumping six to 10 inches on Central Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.
But according to State Police Sunday night, motorists traveling in Kankakee, Iroquois, and Ford counties should drive only if it is an emergency because ISP District 21 is under a winter weather advisory, according to a statement issued by state police.
As the storm continues to pass through the area, the roadways have become hazardous because they are snow covered and slippery, the statement said.
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The combination of snow and winds will cause roadways to become icy and dangerous to drive on and troopers are currently handling a number of vehicles in the ditch, according to the statement.
As of 9:15 p.m., I-57 near the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus is “almost at a standstill,’’ as students from the Chicago area are trying to get back to school after spring break, ISP Trooper Tracy Lillard said in an emailed statement.
Interstates, state roads, and county roads are extremely dangerous due to the heavy snow fall, white out conditions, drifting snow, and wet and icy road conditions near Pesotum, the statement said.
Additionally, Indiana state police were reporting nasty road conditions in Carroll, Clinton, Benton, Warren, White, Montgomery, Fountain, and Tippecanoe counties, according to a statement.I-65 between the 201 mile marker and the 147 mm have become slick with heavy snowfall causing major problems, the statement said.
The Indiana State Police at Lafayette are currently working numerous slide-offs, several property damage crashes and one serious personal injury crash at the 182 mm, the statement said.
The interstate is open with some areas down to one lane. Traffic is moving at a very slow speed and in some areas there is a small back-up due to crashes.
I-74 is also slick with heavy snow buildup and police are working on several slide-offs and a property damage crash. The interstate is open but moving at a slow pace, the statement said.
Chicago appears to have dodged a bullet.
As the system moves east, it's possible that areas along Lake Michigan will see an additional inch of lake effect snow overnight Sunday and Monday.
The storm has snarled travel and downed power lines while heading from Kansas and Missouri toward Illinois. It could deposit around three inches in Kankakee, according to the weather service, and six inches in Iroquois County, about 90 minutes south of Chicago.
By a little before 3 p.m., more than 8 inches had fallen in Springfield and 5 inches in Mount Zion, southeast of Decatur, according to the National Weather Service. Interstates in much of Central Illinois, from Bloomington to south of Interstate 70, were covered with ice and snow, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Any snow that does fall in the Chicago area isn't likely to last. Temperatures hovered around freezing Sunday morning, with an expected afternoon high of 36 degrees. By Thursday, it could be in the mid-40s.
"We're sort of lucky," Nelson said. "Old Man Winter just doesn't want to give up."