Dust storms shut down highways in central Illinois

Dust storms shut down highways in central Illinois

As a powerful weather system brings severe weather to Iowa and Missouri, parts of Illinois are experiencing different impacts as the front approaches.

A dust advisory has been issued for a wide swath of central Illinois, including Logan, Woodford, Piatt, De Witt, Tazewell, Vermilion, McLean, Champaign and Macon counties until 6 p.m.

Multiple interstates have been shut down in the area, including Interstate 55 near milepost 144 in McLean and Interstate 74 between mileposts 149 and 160, according to the Illinois State Police.

Near-zero visibility is being reported in some parts of those interstates, with dust blowing from farm fields and blocking lines of sight on roadways.

The high winds are also causing hazardous travel for high-profile vehicles along north-south roadways in the area, according to officials.

Drivers caught by the storms are being asked to pull off road as much as possible, and to stop and turn off all lights and to set their emergency brakes.

Drivers are also asked not to get out of their vehicles, to keep their seatbelts on and to be sure not to have their foot on the brake pedal so as not to illuminate their taillights, which can cause other drivers to think they are following the flow of traffic.

Even after the advisory ends, a chance of severe weather could also impact central Illinois, with gusty winds, hail and even a threat of tornadoes on Tuesday night.

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