The Daily Illini

More dangerous temperatures into Tuesday morning; UI resumes operations

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Update (1 a.m., Tuesday): The City of Urbana offices will remain closed Tuesday, due to the hazardous weather.

Update (9:30 p.m., Monday): The City of Champaign will resume normal operations Tuesday at 8 a.m., according to a press release. City employees were encouraged to use caution when traveling to work.

The city will continue to work on snow response and other emergencies, as they happen. However, the press release also said weather may slow down crews’ response time.

Update (6:15 p.m., Monday): Expect more dangerously low temperatures due to a life-threatening cold spell.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Champaign County will be around minus 14 degrees on Monday night, with west winds pushing wind chills to anywhere from minus 35 to minus 45. 

A wind chill warning is in effect until noon Tuesday, which is expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 7 degrees.

Temperatures are expected to reach the 30s toward the end of the week.

Around 7 a.m. Monday, the National Weather Service measured temperatures that reached minus 13 degrees, with minus 38 wind chills, in Champaign.

The record low for Illinois is minus 36 degrees, set at Congerville, Ill., on Jan. 5, 1999, said state climatologist Jim Angel on the Illinois State Water Survey website.

Closures

— The Brookens Administrative Center, the Champaign City Courthouse and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office have announced they will close Tuesday.

— Champaign and Urbana city offices have not announced a closure, as of 6:15 p.m.

Shelters

— Two Department of Human Services offices will be open Tuesday to serve as warming centers; they are located on 1307 N. Mattis Ave. and 705 Country Fair Drive. Both will open at 8:30 a.m.

— According to the Champaign County Emergency Management, the Salvation Army and the Savoy United Methodist Church are providing 24 hour service to those who need a shelter overnight. The Salvation Army is located at 2212 N. Market St., and the Savoy United Methodist church is located at 3002 W. Old Church Road.

Update (4 p.m., Monday): The University has announced that normal operations will resume at 11 p.m. Monday. In a mass email, Chancellor Phyllis Wise said employees are expected to make every reasonable effort to report for work Tuesday.

Employees who do not work must use personal time (vacation, floating holiday, accrued compensation time) or take an excused, unpaid absence, Wise said in the email.

Wise said Facilities and Services personnel are working to clear streets, parking and sidewalks on campus and are hoping to have much of their work completed by Tuesday morning.

Update (4 p.m., Sunday): The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warning for Champaign County, which will be in effect until midnight.

In addition, a wind chill warning for Champaign County will go in effect midnight and will remain until noon Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service, locations along or east of Interstate 57 might see an additional 2-4 inches of snow before it gradually comes to a stop Sunday evening.

The National Weather Service says 35 mph northerly winds may produce blizzard-like conditions with rapid changes in visibility. The wind chill temperatures can produce frost bite and lead to hypothermia or death, if appropriate precautions aren’t taken.

Update (2:50 p.m., Sunday): In a mass email, the University is asking employees not to report to work Sunday and Monday, unless their function is critical.

Employees who do not work must use personal time (vacation, floating holiday, accrued compensation time) or take an excused, unpaid absence, Chancellor Phyllis Wise said in the email.

If employees aren’t sure whether their function is critical, they should contact their supervisor.

Another winter storm is expected to move in on the Champaign-Urbana area this weekend followed by brutal cold early next week.

The National Weather Service is expecting six to 10 inches of snow southeast of Interstate 55 on Saturday night through Sunday, when blizzard-like conditions are possible. A winter storm watch will be in effect 6 p.m. Saturday through midnight Monday. Champaign can activate emergency snow routes if more than two inches of snow has accumulated.

A cold spell will follow with morning lows of minus 10 degrees Monday and Tuesday, with locations north of I-74 colder than minus 15. In addition, 20-25 mph northwest winds are expected to be persistent during these days, and wind chills will range from minus 25 to minus 35 early Monday morning, with locations north of I-74 feeling minus 40.

A number of local administrative offices will be closed Monday, including Brookens Administrative Center, Champaign City Building, Champaign County Courthouse, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and Urbana city offices.

The University encouraged working staff to make sure exterior windows and doors are closed during this time, Phyllis Wise said in a mass email to the campus community Friday. She also said the campus officials will monitor the forecasts and will be in touch with emergency managers throughout the weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, the last time Champaign-Urbana experienced minus 10 degree weather or colder was Feb. 10, 2011. The record low for Jan. 6 is minus 10 in 1912, and for Jan. 7 is minus 22 in the same year.

The state encouraged any resident who may need to stay warm to visit their local Department of Human Services office; the two Champaign County locations are on 1307 N. Mattis Ave. and 705 Country Fair Drive. Both will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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