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021119-dec-loc-accident

The scene of an accident Sunday evening on the 900 block of West Main. Police are investigating the cause of the crash, which took place around the time that roads were becoming slick on Sunday evening. 

DECATUR — Wherever you're heading this morning, plan on it taking longer than usual to get there.

The National Weather Service at Lincoln has issued a winter weather advisory until noon for much of the region, including Decatur, and freezing rain is likely this morning.

It follows a predicted overnight frigid cocktail of minor snowfall and freezing rain and, even with ice accumulations not expected to top one-tenth of an inch, the weather service said it would be enough to make driving treacherous in places.

“The Monday morning commute is what we’re focusing on right now,” weather service meteorologist James Auten said. “And even though any icing or any glaze will be less than a 10th of an inch, that could be enough for untreated surfaces to get slick and create an issue.”

The weather service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook warning covering the weather pattern which also alerted to a “a final wave” of wintry precipitation due to hit Central Illinois from Monday night into Tuesday. This wave will include rain Monday night and then switches to a mix of rain and snow for Tuesday; snowfall accumulations are pegged at an inch or less.

Auten said precipitation drains away after Tuesday but is back by Thursday with rain and a high of 47 before temperatures begin another plunge towards the weekend. A mix of rain and snow is likely Friday, with a high of 41, and then snow likely again Friday night as the mercury takes a steep drop to a low of about 17. Snow is forecast as being “likely” for Friday night but Auten, speaking Sunday night, said he could not say how much might be in the forecast.

“It’s too far out to tell right now,” he said.

Sunday’s brush with snow and freezing rain saw both State Police and county police responding to several accidents linked to drivers losing control in the slippery conditions. A semitruck driver who skidded and rear-ended another vehicle on Interstate 70 in Fayette County on Sunday morning was ticketed for driving too fast for conditions, according to state police.

A Decatur accident that occurred during a time of slick roads Sunday evening was still being investigated Sunday night to determine its exact cause, said Sgt. Erik Ethell with Decatur Police. Ethell said a vehicle crashed into a light pole around 5:14 p.m. in the 900 block of West Main Street and the male driver sustained injuries and was taken to Decatur Memorial Hospital.  

Lt. Jamie Belcher with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office said the Sunday day shift had dealt with four accidents attributed to weather: two on Interstate 72, one on U.S. 36 near Harristown and on U.S. 51 near Macon.

Belcher echoed the warnings about Monday’s commute and urged drivers to be wary. “Give yourself extra time and take it slow,” he said.


 

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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