A wintry mix and high winds have caused power lines and trees to fall down, leading to over 15,000 customers in Lake and McHenry counties being without power.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued an ice storm warning that went into effect at 6 a.m. Wednesday and is set to expire at 6 a.m. Thursday.
The warning covers McHenry, Boone and Winnebago counties.
The NWS also issued a winter weather advisory that went into effect at 6 a.m. Wednesday and is set to expire at 6 a.m. Thursday covering Lake, Ogle, DeKalb and Kane counties.
Significant ice and sleet accumulations were expected for Lake and McHenry counties.
Light freezing rain and drizzle are expected to continue into Wednesday evening and Thursday morning in the two counties, the NWS said.
Total ice accumulations of two to three-tenths of an inch with higher possible near the state line, while total sleet accumulations up to one-half inch, the NWS said.
Ice accumulations on wires, roadways, trees and sidewalks were reported throughout the area.
Fire departments in Lake and McHenry counties were busy responding to well over 100 wires down calls Wednesday.
The NWS reported around 5:30 p.m. that freezing rain and numerous power outages continue to be reported north of Interstate 88.
ComEd reported approximately 8,500 customers in Lake County and 13,000 customers in McHenry County were affected by over 450 separate power outages.
ComEd said their crews have been dispatched to areas affected by the storm and their focus is on making repairs that will restore power to the greatest number of customers and to emergency facilities.
The Village of Hawthorn Woods reported trees down blocking residential roadways. Public works crews have since cleared the trees.
The Lake in the Hills Police Department urged residents to stay off the roadways and reported multiple roads closed due to down branches and power lines.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that residents should stay off the roadway due to the trees and power lines down.
“These are very difficult to see when driving. Do not approach wires down, dial 911,” the sheriff’s office said.
The NWS said travel is strongly discouraged and those who must travel should keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency.