CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Strong gusts caused challenges for people across Central Illinois. Downed power lines, fallen utility poles, and power outages. Those were just the start of what crews had to deal with. It’s almost impossible to walk outside and not notice it.
“Right now it’s just like… I can’t take it,” said Saltonnia Thaggard who lives in Urbana.
Some gusts Wednesday were over 50 miles an hour all throughout the area.
“Usually we are outside, but we aren’t outside this year just because it’s so cold and it’s so windy,” said Abby Layton from Shawnee, Kansas, describing her family’s Thanksgiving day plans.
For some, it also added some risks on the road.
“It was difficult to keep the car straight because it was moving all over the palce and going next to the semis was rough because they were moving all over the place,” said Abby’s brother, Ryan.
The wind added challenges for semi drivers. One rolled over on I-57 near Thomasboro after crashing into another. If you’re driving a semi, officers say it’s important to make sure you can be seen.
“Keep your headlights on because you never know, especially when you’re out in the county and you’re driving down a county road and there’s farmers at work or have done work and that kicks up a lot of dust and obviously you wanna see and you wanna be seen,” said Champaign County Leiutenant Curt Apperson.
It’s not just truck drivers who need to be careful. Drivers around them also need to be careful about changes in wind speed.
“You need to be aware that when you’re passing that vehicle, it’s gonna act as a wind block and then when you go to complete you’re passing of that vehicle or overtaking that vehicle, the wind’s gonna pick up,” said Apperson.
The sheriff’s office also gets more calls for house alarms when it’s this windy. They say people’s doors will get blown open and set them off. The best way to avoid that is to lock your storm doors.
There are still more than a thousand Ameren customers without power throughout the state. Those includes outages in Champaign, Vermilion, Macon, and Ford counties.