Wind chill dangerous in midwest

BY SUSAN KIM | Springfield, IL | December 15, 2000

After snow and ice hit the Midwest again over the weekend, wind chills reached dangerous levels, particularly in Illinois. Six counties south of Springfield were under wind chill advisories with wind chills of 55 below zero.

"Parts of the state have had snow, parts have had ice but the biggest problem for us has been the wind," said Chris Tamminga, public information officer for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. "We've had white-outs due to the wind, and shelters have been opened for motorists in case they need them."

High winds also buffeted the eastern U.S. as thunderstorms brought gusty winds and heavy rain to several East Coast states. Flood warnings were posted for eastern New Jersey and eastern Delaware. "There was a flash flood warning in eastern New Jersey," said Joann Hale, Church World Service disaster resource facilitator.

In Maryland, several roads in the southern portion of the state were closed due to standing water, and residents reported standing water in their yards and basements.

Wind advisories continued across several states in that region on Sunday.

Earlier this week, thousands of residents across the U.S. were chilled as winter storms cause power outages in many states.

Among the hardest hit was Arkansas, where thousands of homes are still without power after ice and freezing rain blanketed the state this week.

Some 43 counties in the state were affected by the storm, according to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. Thousands of residents lost power, water, or phone service. Debris and damage was caused by falling trees and limbs.

Shelters and care centers were opened for those displaced by the storm. Along with schools and community centers, shelters were open in local churches, including Union Ave. Baptist Church, E. Baptist Church, and the Wynne Catholic Church in Wynne; and Parken First Baptist Church in Parken.

Many shelters have been able to close as people get power back, said Teri Pfeiffer, public information officer for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. "But some people may not have power until Sunday or Monday. This is more ice than we almost ever get."

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