DECATUR — Black ice on the roads was causing accidents throughout Central Illinois, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a special weather statement Tuesday morning.
Near Champaign, 10 cars were involved in separate crashes on interstates 72 and 74, and other accidents were reported near Peoria. All accidents are cleared, but the roads may still be icy, according to the Illinois State Police.
In Decatur Tuesday morning, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office reported no crashes, and Decatur police patrol officer Jerome W. Wagoner Jr. said one accident had been reported, and it was unclear whether it was weather related.
Wagoner urged motorists to be cautious in the wintry conditions.
“You’ve got to slow down, that’s the main thing,” he said.
Wagoner also reminded motorists to clean off their vehicles properly. Vehicles must have the full windshield and windows cleared from ice and snow, or it can result in a ticket from police if they are not, he said.
Many roads are likely icy, according to the weather service statement. The black ice is due to cold temperatures and lighter winds, which allow moisture to be deposited on roadways.
“Bridges and overpasses will be especially susceptible to black ice,” according to the weather service. “Black ice is extremely difficult to notice on the roads, so please slow down and use caution if driving this morning.”
With actual air temperatures registering below zero, officials are encouraging drivers and those outside to take precautions.
Frostbite can occur quickly — within 15 to 20 minutes — if people do not properly cover their skin, according to the statement.
Cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills are expected for the rest of the week, and a storm system could produce several inches of snow Sunday and Monday, the weather service said.
High temperatures are expected to remain below 20 degrees through Saturday. Lows will dip to minus 5 degrees on Friday.