I-39 in central Illinois reopens after pileup in snowstorm
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- A 17-mile (27-kilometer) stretch of interstate in central Illinois that had closed after a pileup involving about 100 cars, trucks and big rigs in a blinding snowstorm fully reopened Friday.
There were no reports of injuries in the crashes, which happened Thursday on Interstate 39 north of Bloomington as winds gusting up to 40 mph (64 kph) cut visibility during a storm that swept through the Midwest and other parts of the country.
Authorities were able to escort all the stranded motorists to warming centers, state police said in a statement.
The interstate was closed in both directions early Friday, as crews untangled the nine passenger vehicles and 19 commercial vehicles as well as retrieve dozens more that slid off the icy roadway, Illinois State Police Trooper Haylie Polistina said. Northbound lanes were opened before midday Friday, followed by southbound lanes later in the day.
The storm created travel problems in Illinois and elsewhere. Chicago's two international airports saw more than 500 flights canceled during the storm, which dropped more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow across the region.