* My connecting flight to St. Louis was cancelled Sunday night and I was told I probably couldn’t get on another plane until Wednesday. So, I rented a car and drove home from Atlanta yesterday, with side trips to pick up Oscar the Puppy and our luggage at the STL airport. I rolled into my driveway about 11:30 last night.
Interstate 64 down in Southern Illinois was relatively clean by the time I arrived, but there were tons of cars in the ditches. I saw a dozen or more off the road in one half-mile stretch alone. All those unfortunate souls had to literally be rescued because the temperatures were so low. This was a life and death matter for them.
My hat is off to everyone who has been working on the roads for the past few days, particularly the rescuers. From a press release…
Stories of heroism by rescuers continue to emerge as emergency responders work around the clock to assist those impacted by the extreme weather.
Personnel from the Illinois National Guard field maintenance shop in Mattoon coordinated with Illinois State Police troopers and Illinois Department of Transportation snow plow crews to assist motorists in approximately 375 vehicles backed up on I-70 and I-57 north of Effingham Sunday evening. The backup was the result of several vehicles and semi-trucks that were stuck in snow drifts, making it impossible for snow plows to clear the route for the cars to proceed. Illinois National Guard personnel used a wrecker to pull the stranded vehicles and trucks from the road, which allowed IDOT crews to clear the road and rescue hundreds of passengers.
“The men and women of the Illinois National Guard are again demonstrating their commitment to the safety and security of Illinois citizens,” Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Krumrei, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, said. “We train extensively throughout the year to be ready and on the scene to help our neighbors at a moment’s notice. Within two hours of activation, our Soldiers navigated dangerous road conditions in sub-zero temperatures to rescue stranded motorists.”
Conservation Police Officer Trent Reeves rescued seven people and two pets that were trapped by snow drifts along Route 47 north of Mahomet. Emergency vehicles could not reach the people, so Officer Reeves traveled by snowmobile and on foot to rescue the stranded individuals and deliver them to nearby emergency vehicles. All of those rescued, including the pets, are fine. Officer Jim Mayes assisted with the rescue, and himself used his truck to rescue six individuals who were stranded on Interstate 74 in east central Illinois.
Your experiences with Polar Vortex Snowmageddon 2014?