Freezing rain, storms bring outages to northern Illinois


Scott P. Yates/Rockford Register Star via AP

Snow falls as traffic moves slowly along State Street ahead of the Jeff Dunham comedy show at the BMO Harris Bank Center Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in downtown Rockford, Ill.

FREEPORT, Ill. (AP) — Freezing rain left roads and trees glazed with ice Saturday across parts of northern Illinois as a winter storm packing a mixed bag of precipitation cut power to about 5,000 homes and businesses across the region.

Just under 5,000 Commonwealth Edison customers were without power Saturday afternoon in northwestern and northern Illinois. About a third of those outages in the Freeport area, where freezing rain had coated the area with a quarter-inch (.63 centimeters) of ice.

Scattered outages were also reported in the Chicago area, which was buffeted by heavy rain and high winds ahead of snow, freezing rain and sleet forecast for Saturday night.

More than 1,000 flights were canceled Saturday at Midway and O’Hare international airports because of stormy conditions that swept large waves into Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, leading to some lane closures.

Scott P. Yates/Rockford Register Star via AP
Tommy Ferguson scrapes ice off his car parked along South Church Street, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Rockford, Ill., after finishing a morning work shift at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Icy conditions throughout the area created slick roads and walkways.

A winter storm warning was in effect until early Sunday for areas of northwestern Illinois.

The National Weather Service reported that more than a quarter-inch (.63 centimeters) of ice had accumulated in the Freeport and Rockford areas, where icy roads led to numerous crashes.

One person was hospitalized after a salt truck collided with a semitrailer in Roscoe, the Rockford Register Star reported.

The wintry mix was part of a storm system that had killed least seven people across parts of the U.S. South.