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Not much more snow expected, but strong winds make plowing difficult

The second round of this week’s major snowstorm won’t be so major after all.

The National Weather Service said Bloomington-Normal should expect only up to another inch of snow on Thursday, on top of the 9-10 inches that fell Wednesday. That’s short of the initial 12-18 inches of snow that was forecast for Bloomington-Normal earlier this week.

Blowing snow will be the challenge Thursday, hampering plowing efforts. Bloomington-Normal is expecting wind gusts of between 30-35 mph. Visibility will be reduced at times in blowing snow, especially in open areas.

There was a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday.

Interstates around McLean County were still largely snow-covered as of 3 p.m. Thursday, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Road Conditions map.

Several state routes were also impassable as of 12:30 p.m. Thursday due to driving snow:

  • U.S. 136
  • Illinois Route 9
  • Illinois Route 165
  • Illinois Route 122

"(State Police) continues to urge the motoring public to use EXTREME caution and only travel on the roadways if absolutely necessary. As always, please be mindful of the snow plows, tow trucks, and emergency response vehicles that are working in these hazardous conditions. Please SLOW DOWN and MOVE OVER. Stay safe!" State Police said on Facebook.

Poor travel conditions kept McLean County’s first responders busy on Wednesday too. There were 165 motorist assists and at least 32 accidents reported, according to the McLean County Emergency Management Agency.

“197 reasons to stay off the roads today,” EMA said on Facebook.

On Thursday afternoon, Matt Mackey of All Around Towing said he'd been working since 4:30 in the morning, mostly pulling people out of snow drifts or ditches.

Road conditions at the time Mackey spoke with WGLT were such that "a lot of them we've had to hook up to three and four times to pull them through an entire side road and to a main road because the side roads are so piled up."

Mackey estimated that about 60-80 people had been helped over the past two days. And while that might seem like an opportunity to have made money, Mackey said he's not currently charging for his services.

"I don't want to take advantage of somebody in an unfortunate incident," he said. "Some people live on a fixed amount of money per week ... and I don't want to be the one to take their last $20-40."

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Ryan Denham is the content director for WGLT and WCBU.
Lyndsay Jones is a reporter at WGLT. She joined the station in 2021. You can reach her at lljone3@ilstu.edu.
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