C-U plans for more snow

Heavy snowfall and cold winds powdered the campus and the Champaign-Urbana area late Monday through Tuesday.

Light snowfall began around 4 p.m. on Monday. Jim Angel, state climatologist, said the expected total amount of snowfall for Tuesday was two to four inches, and by Tuesday morning there was already over four inches of snow.

Winds were predicted to increase late Tuesday night into Wednesday with some gusting as high as 35 mph, Angel said.

The snowfall is expected to end soon, although wind will continue to cause drifting snow.

“The blowing and drifting snow seems to be the main threat,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Casey Sullivan.

Interim Chancellor and Provost Robert Easter sent out an advisory to staff members urging them to leave campus as early as possible.

“Travel on the interstate will be challenging tonight,” Angel said Tuesday. “It’s going to be slick and hard to see.”

Easter said in the advisory that employees who ask to leave early should use their vacation or personal days, and if they have not accumulated any vacation or personal leave time, departments may approve an absence without pay for these employees.

The hazardous weather prompted the Champaign-Urbana public health district to close at 4 p.m. Tuesday, with a note to residents to call ahead to check for hours of operation Wednesday.

A number of schools in Champaign and Urbana also closed Tuesday.

The city of Champaign’s Department of Public Works staff said it is asking the public to take steps in their daily routines to speed the city’s street clearing efforts.

The staff said it asks that people do not park on city streets if possible. If it is necessary to park on the street, the staff is asking citizens to avoid parking on primary routes. These routes include arterial streets, collector streets, bus routes, school routes and hospital routes.

Crews will continue to focus on plowing and limited salting of primary routes before focusing on secondary routes, dead ends and culs-de-sac.

The public works staff said it is also asking the public not to plow or blow snow into the streets to prevent the need for snowplows to go over some streets twice. Residents are also asked not to blow snow onto medians.

The staff asked residents to avoid driving whenever possible, and if it is necessary to drive, to be cautious and be watchful of snowplows.

The Illinois State Police say they’ve handled more than 70 accidents on Interstate 57 in the Champaign vicinity alone.

According to a report issued by the public works staff Wednesday, 5.3 inches of snow have been removed since Monday. This includes primary and secondary streets in the area north of Bradley Avenue, east of Prospect Avenue and south of Interstate 74.

Parking areas in downtown Champaign will be closed between 3 and 5 a.m. Thursday morning. Emergency snow routes will not be activated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report