Chicago Endures Third Day Of Heavy Snowfall
Updated: February 3, 2014 4:23PM
As the snow continued to fall early Thursday, forecasters said some northern Illinois communities could get another eight inches of lake-effect snow that could extend as far west as Joliet.
Another four to six inches of snow was expected in Chicago on Thursday.
Drivers returning to work after the New Year’s holiday were greeted with a slick and snowy morning commute Thursday, as a pair of weather systems continued dumping snow across the Chicago area.
The storm that arrived on New Year’s Eve and dropped 9.2 inches of snow at O’Hare International Airport by noon Thursday and 10.9 inches at Midway International Airport, according to the National Weather Service. Libertyville reported 13.5 inches, Schaumburg had 14.4 inches and Elk Grove had 15.4 inches.
The wintry wallop came courtesy of a second weather system that moved in overnight, weather service meteorologist Matt Friedlein said, making roads icy and visibility poor during the drive to work.
A lake-effect snow warning is in effect until Thursday afternoon for Cook and Lake counties in Illinois and Lake County in Indiana.
Chicago’s full fleet of 287 snow plows and salt spreaders was deployed Tuesday afternoon and, since the snowfall has been almost constant, has been continuously working to clear main and arterial roadways, said Molly Poppe, spokeswoman for the Department of Streets and Sanitation.
Many residential streets have yet to be plowed though, as the city’s trucks work to keep pace with the falling snow.
“We’re focusing on main streets right now,” Poppe said. “We’ll move to side and residential routes once our main roads are cleared... It’s obviously all contingent on when the snow stops.”
The city’s 26 smaller four-wheel drive plows will be dispatched once the city starts clearing side streets, she said, warning that residents should drive with caution as the roads are likely slippery in areas.
More than 635 flights were canceled Wednesday at O’Hare and another 275 were canceled by early Thursday morning, according to the city’s Department of Aviation. At Midway, flights were delayed at least 25 minutes Thursday.
Once the snow finally stops falling by Friday morning, NWS meteorologist Charles Mott said there will be more bad news.
“Then we’re going to get cold,” Mott said.
The most optimistic forecast predicts Monday’s high temperature will be 0 degrees.