CHICAGO - Light snow fell Wednesday as dangerous cold continued to grip the Chicago area. The snowfall made for slippery roads as it continued to fall later in the morning.
Two separate crashes on southbound Lake Shore Drive involving eight or nine cars caused delays around 8:15 a.m. At least one ambulance and several emergency vehicles responded to the scene, just past Chicago Avenue. There is no word yet on whether anyone was hurt.
Only one lane was open to traffic as crews worked to clear the scene. It took drivers about 40 minutes to get to Grant Park from West Hollywood Avenue.
There is another chance of flurries until noon, according to the National Weather Service. Less than half an inch of snow is expected throughout the day.
The snowfall could make for slippery morning travel conditions in some areas of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana, the weather service said.
Deep freeze continues, snow expected
Freezing temperatures and sub-zero wind chills should stick around through much of the weekend, the weather service said. On Wednesday, a high of 16 degrees is in the forecast, with a low of -6 degrees expected in the nighttime hours.
Wind gusts of up to 25 miles per hour are also expected to push through the area during the daytime hours on Wednesday, with wind chills dipping as low as -20 degrees at night, the weather service said.
People should dress in layers and keep as much of their skin covered as possible to prevent hypothermia and frostbite, which can occur on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.
"You're thinking you're going out for a couple of minutes and ends up being more than a couple of minutes. You don't feel the numbness you have until you come home, you take your inadequate gloves off and your fingers are swollen," Stroger Hospital Trauma and Burn Department Chair Dr. Faran Bokhari said.
At Chicago's Emergency Operations Center, officials monitored the extreme cold, looking for anyone in trouble, broken water mains and other cold-related problems. In recent days, the city received more than 400 well-being check requests and 28 warming shelters have been opened.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.