Freezing rain, storms bring outages to northern Illinois

FREEPORT, Ill. (AP) — Freezing rain left roads and trees glazed with ice Saturday across parts of northern Illinois as a winter storm packing a mixed bag of precipitation cut power to about 5,000 homes and businesses across the region.

Just under 5,000 Commonwealth Edison customers were without power Saturday afternoon in northwestern and northern Illinois. About a third of those outages in the Freeport area, where freezing rain had coated the area with a quarter-inch (.63 centimeters) of ice.

Scattered outages were also reported in the Chicago area, which was buffeted by heavy rain and high winds ahead of snow, freezing rain and sleet forecast for Saturday night.

More than 1,000 flights were canceled Saturday at Midway and O’Hare international airports because of stormy conditions that swept large waves into Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, leading to some lane closures.

A winter storm warning was in effect until early Sunday for areas of northwestern Illinois.

The National Weather Service reported that more than a quarter-inch (.63 centimeters) of ice had accumulated in the Freeport and Rockford areas, where icy roads led to numerous crashes.

One person was hospitalized after a salt truck collided with a semitrailer in Roscoe, the Rockford Register Star reported.

The wintry mix was part of a storm system that had killed least seven people across parts of the U.S. South.