Snowplows ordered off county highways

By Karis Morrall

Motorists are slip-sliding across the snowy roads of Champaign. Snowplows have been ordered off the Champaign’s county highways.

Rick Atterberry is the Champaign County Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokesperson. He says Champaign county highways are closed because of high winds and stranded cars blocking the paths of snow plows.

“The decision was made by the county highway director for the safety of the crews and just simply they can’t make any progress right now. So they’ll call them in, make any repairs and get some rest. So, as soon as the wind dies down and hopefully the traffic gets out of the way, they’ll be able to hit it full speed.”

City of Champaign Operations Manager Tom Schuh says about 34 snow-plow drivers have been rotating 12-hour shifts. He advises motorists to stay off the streets.

“It’s just not safe to be out on the roads at this time. We’re doing our best to make the roads safer, but we cant make them absolutely safe. The winds are just blowing; the snow is coming. It’s just not a good condition to be out in.”

One of the motorists on the streets this afternoon was John Phillips. He thinks problems with driving in the snow are exaggerated.

“Well I’ve got a 4-wheel drive and honestly I don’t know why everything is shut down, it’s not that bad. Well, I own C.O. Daniel’s, so I’m going by to make sure the bar can open and all these kids can come out and have a good time.”

Schuh says main routes should be cleared twelve hours after the snowstorm stops. He says the city will not successfully clear roads until sometime Wednesday.

Tom Costello, assistant managing director says the M-T-D services will try to run as usual but the adverse conditions can greatly hinder their efforts.

“If it just gets real bad there’s just not much you can do. And you know, No one wants to be inconvenienced and no one wants it to affect their everyday life but the fact of the matter is that there’s stuff over which you flat-out just don’t have any control.”

As of this time the M-T-D will stop all bus services,including Safe Rides,at seven PM tonight.