With temperatures below zero, BenGil and Macoupin County is officially frozen. The subzero temperatures are expected to continue until 10am today, Tuesday, January 7 where the temperature is expected to reach 1 degree. Even with the temperature below zero, the wind chill has reached -20 degrees over the last 24 hours.
The National Weather Service extended a wind chill warning on Monday, January 6 at 3:55pm until 12:00pm on January 7. Wind chills have averaged minus 10-20 degrees below zero since yesterday and according to the NWS, the result of low temperatures can result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia or death.
Macoupin County received anywhere between 6 and 15 inches of snow over the last 72 hours. Some residents in Gillespie claim they measured over 12 inches of snow in their front yard. The snowfall started early Sunday morning and continued until late afternoon. When the temperature dropped and the wind increased, blizzard conditions were created.
Vehicles around the city have become immobile as drifts have reached 4-6 feet high. Gillespie Police have done the best they can with their squad cars and the record snowfall. The police department responded to a vehicle stall in the middle of West Oak on Sunday evening and had to barricade the street until the car was moved. As emergency sirens echoed through the town late Sunday evening, first responders drove snowmobiles to the fire station.
The NWS said blowing and drifting snow creates hazardous driving conditions due to gusty northwesterly winds.
Temperatures have been below zero since Monday morning with the United Community Bank sign in Gillespie reading -9 degrees late Monday afternoon. Gillespie Community School District #7 called off school for Monday early Sunday afternoon and called off school for today by 2 o’clock in the afternoon on Monday. The students were scheduled to return to school from Christmas break on Monday, January 5.
Nearly all the churches in the area cancelled Sunday morning services and many businesses in the area closed early Sunday as the snow continued to pile up. Subway, Dairy Queen, and Randy’s Market were among businesses who shortened their operating hours Sunday and Monday due to the snow and bitterly cold temperatures.
Ageless Fitness cancelled all classes and personal training sessions on Monday and the Benld City Hall stayed closed the entire day too. Flowers trash service cancelled all routes Monday and announced they are running Monday’s route on Tuesday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s route on Wednesday, and normal routes for the rest of the week.
Nearly all businesses are open for business today, Tuesday, January 7 with few being the exception. To keep up with school and business closures, click here.
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