A blizzard struck Southern Illinois and the surrounding region early Wednesday morning, covering the region in some of the heaviest snowfall seen in years.

Between 6 and 10 inches of snow had already fallen in many areas by 6 a.m., and the snow was still coming.

Roads are nearly impossible to drive, state and local law enforcement warn. They are reporting cars are off the road in multiple locations, especially in Union County, where the sheriff's office is reporting several calls alone.

Snow clearing crews are fighting an uphill battle trying to clear highways. The snow will continue falling throughout the morning. Strong winds will also make visibility difficult.

Authorities are asking everyone to stay inside today but especially while crews are attempting to clear the roads.

A number of closings have already been announced because of the blizzard. Here is a list as reported by WSIL-TV.

 

ALEXANDER COUNTY

  • Delta Center, Cairo — Closed

FRANKLIN COUNTY

  • Franklin County Courthouse and County Offices — Closed
  • Special Minds Services, West Frankfort — Closed
  • South Central Transit — Closed
  • Franklin-Williamson BiCounty Health Department — All offices closed
  • Franklin County Housing
  • Authority will be closed Wednesday. Residents with emergencies may call our emergency line 932-2125.

HAMILTON COUNTY

  • Hamilton County Schools Daycare Center — Closed

JACKSON COUNTY

  • Center for Wound Healing at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital — Closed
  • Com-Pac International — First Shift don’t come in Wednesday
  • CVP Rehab at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, Murphysboro — Closed
  • Senior Adult Services — Closed
  • Jackson County Mass Transit — All routes cancelled

JEFFERSON COUNTY

  • Jefferson County Comprehensive Services — Closed

PERRY COUNTY

  • South Central Transit (SCP) — All routes cancelled

SALINE COUNTY

  • Eygptian Health Department (Saline,Gallatin, White Counties) — Closed

UNION COUNTY

  • Dongola School District office — Opens at Noon
  • Anna Heights Early Learning Center — Closed

WILLIAMSON COUNTY

  • Franklin-Williamson BiCounty Health Department — All offices closed
  • Center for Wound Healing at Herrin Hospital — Closed
  • Marion VA Outpatient Clinics — Closed
  • (The main Marion VA Hospital campus will remain open.)
  • Williamson County Programs on Aging — Closed, Employees not required to come in

AREA-WIDE CLOSURES

  • H-Group — Essential Staff Only
  • SMART Transportation is not running
  • Closings at Southern Illinois Healthcare facilities:
  • The Centers for Wound Healing at Herrin Hospital and at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro are closed Wednesday, December 26 due to the threat of hazardous weather.
  • Also cancelled: CVP Rehab at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro.

The storm has also postponed a number of the holiday high school basketball tournaments planned to start today. People are urged to check with their local school districts to see if one near them has been affected.

(1) comment

tomjones

This wasn't a blizzard. It was a snowstorm. Your weather team or your reporters need to learn some basic facts:

A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong winds and low temperatures. The difference between a blizzard and snowstorm is the strength of the wind. To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have sustained winds or frequent gusts that are greater than or equal to 56 km/h (35 mph) with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to 400 meters or a quarter mile or less and must last for a prolonged period of time — typically three hours or more.

Source: NOAA National Weather Service

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