Snowstorms of January 1979

This winter Champaign-Urbana has seen an impressive amount of snowfall. In January 1979, Champaign and Urbana saw several heavy snowfalls, too. Snowstorms occurred on January 2 , 14, 16, and 24-25. The last snowstorm in January caused hazardous travel conditions, road closings, and a shutdown of the city’s Emergency Operations Center. Off-duty firefighters traveled the roads of Champaign and Urbana in their personal four-wheel drive vehicles rescuing stranded motorists from snow drifts. Though interstates, highways, and town roads were mostly cleared by Sunday, January 29, many county roads remained impassible for several days to come.

The above photographs were taken on Friday, January 26th by Champaign-Urbana Courier Staff. The photograph on the left was taken on Route 45 and the accompanying caption reads, "Big snow, little truck: County vehicle tackles drift." The center photograph reads, "North Lincoln Avenue in Urbana was a wasteland littered with abandoned cars before dawn on Friday." The photograph shows North Lincoln Avenue in Urbana at 12:15 a.m. on Friday. The far right photograph is looking down Route 45 from a snowdrift on Curtis Road. The caption reads, "Snowplows have U.S. 45 pretty much to themselves Friday as they attempt to clear drifts near the intersection with Curtis Road."

These photographs are available for browsing at the Champaign County Historical Archives of the Urbana Free Library. The above photographs are located in the general photographs collection under the heading, "Snowstorms."

By Donica M.