Storm leaves nearly a foot of snow
An overnight snowstorm that delayed hundreds of flights, closed hundreds of schools and created dangerous driving conditions in the
Far west suburban Elburn was reported to be the hardest hit with 11 inches of snowfall, said Gino Izzi, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
WGN-Ch. 9 studios on
Izzi said the snowfall was mainly concentrated Friday afternoon south of Chicago in Kankakee County, and northwest Indiana.
At an early-morning news conference, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Michael Picardi said the city's 273 snow-fighting trucks are plowing main streets. Officials have also called out an extra 83 garbage trucks equipped with quick-hitch plows, along with 24 smaller plows.
"When you get a rapid snowfall like this it takes a long time to clear the main streets," Picardi said. "By no means should anyone takes these conditions lightly."
He said nearly whiteout conditions were reported Friday morning along
The storm prompted many school officials across the city and suburbs to delay their school's opening or cancel school for the day. A handful of charter schools within the Chicago Public Schools were closed, however, the rest of the public schools remained open, said CPS spokesman Malon Edwards.
At O'Hare International Airport on Friday morning, about 500 flights were canceled because of the weather, said Gregg Cunningham, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Aviation. The airport was also experiencing delays averaging 45 minutes to one hour for inbound and outbound flights.
But "due to improving weather and airfield conditions, airlines expect schedules to begin returning to normal," Cunningham said.
Illinois State Police Trooper Mark Hall said at least 10 cars slid into ditches, and some cars crashed into walls on area expressways early Friday. He added, however, that there were no serious injuries in any of the crashes.
On the tollway system, an emergency snow plan is in effect where drivers involved in only property damage crashes are asked to exchange insurance information and report the accident at another time.
"The roads are icy and hazardous, but they're still trying to keep up with it," Illinois State Police Master Sgt. William Aukstolis said. "There's a lot of slipping and sliding but nothing major because I don't think you can go that fast."
"I got in my car at 6:15 this morning, and I got to work at 9:39," said Dina Rhea, 44, whose drive from
"It felt like a road trip. And I didn't stop at the store to get my coffee like I normally do because I was afraid of getting stuck, so it was an interesting morning," she said.
"Did I have to come downtown? No, but when you're responsible, you have to do certain things I guess," said Ed Rolnick, who said his drive into the city from
Anthony Carter, a 25-year-old valet manager for the Drake Hotel, figured the light snowfall Thursday night wouldn't pick up that much. But "it took almost an hour to get out of my parking space this morning, and then another 45 minutes to get to work," from the area around Halsted Street and Jackson Boulevard, which had not been plowed, he said.
"Normally, my commute is six minutes. I can only hope it's better on the ride home!"
Commuters to the
Chicago Transit Authority office workers, along with CTA President Ron Huberman, were helping janitors shovel snow off train platforms, said spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney.
While the CTA reported no significant problems with its train or bus service due to the weather,
"It takes a lot to stop this city," said Brown during a stop for coffee. "I'm just hoping that the trek back home isn't so bad.
Brown, who has lived in
Abhinandan Khanna, a 30-year-old
"It's been rough," he said, looking down at his feet. "My shoes are pretty wet inside."
Two Metra trains experienced delays of up to 25 minutes due to the weather.
"Quite proud of that," joked Devine, who has been commuting from the western suburb for about 7 years. "I've got it all down."
Copyright © 2008,
Storm stretches from
Up to a foot of snow expected in
The Associated Press, Feb. 1, 2008
At least 5 inches of snow was reported at
Up to 12 inches of snow was forecast for the
Hundreds of schools in
Billowing snow in the Texas Panhandle caused a 40-car pileup on Interstate 40 on Thursday that killed at least one person. Three other deaths were blamed on the storm, two in
The system was expected to move into the Northeast later Friday, bringing with it a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
Severe weather also wasn't expected to let up anytime soon in
National Weather Service meteorologist John Livingston said a snowstorm was expected to blow through on Saturday and Sunday, with cold predicted to stretch at least through the middle of next week.
"You can only stack the snow so high, and we're running out of places to put it," said Rick Carrie, county commissioner.
© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.