A Valentine’s Day snowstorm was responsible for a number of car accidents on I-74 in what turned out to be the fifth-highest snowfall ever recorded on February 14 in the county. According to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, the Champaign area got around 2 inches of snow. The Valentine’s Day record, set in 2007, was 6.5 inches.
Though the rural roads around Champaign were also reported to have been in poor condition by Tracy Wingler, the maintenance supervisor for the Champaign County Highway Department, it was I-74 that caused the most trouble for drivers last Sunday. Though maintenance crews were working around the clock, the wind continued blowing new layers of snow over the roads.
Early Sunday afternoon, both westbound lanes of I -74 were blocked by a multi-car accident at milepost 187 and a vehicle fire closed both westbound lanes at milepost 211 for just over an hour. A number of other car accidents were reported between mile-marker 202 and the west end of Danville.
Maintenance crews had all of Champaign’s primary routes clear by around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, which was around the same time the westbound lanes of I-74 reopened.