Freezing rain, sleet and light snow hit

December 15, 2008 3:12:10 PM PST
After temperaturesChicagoans are reeling from a dramatic drop in temperature overnight. From a high around 50, the mercury dropped into the single digits Monday morning, making many city streets very treacherous. Some of the streets were still treacherous late Monday afternoon.

Mayor Daley has been talking about the need to reduce the budget for snow removal. The spokesperson for the city Streets and Sanitation Department tells ABC7 they are trying to keep the city safe, but also be smart about what they're doing because we've got a long winter ahead.

So, of course, the focus Monday was on the main streets. But some of these side streets, just as the sidewalks, were still a little bit slippery.

Everybody in the Chicagoland area woke up to an ice coating. A symphony of scrapers greeted Chicagoans Monday morning. It was a thin, yet tough, layer of ice. Something new, especially if you're from California.

"This is my first winter here and it's quite an experience," said Lawrence Yep, new Chicagoan.

It started overnight while most slept. The precipitation came down and stayed, despite efforts by city crews. The city Of Chicago had half of its main snow fleet out.

"We're treating our salt with an extra additive called calcium chloride, spraying it on the salt. And that makes the salt work more effectively at lower temperatures," said Matt Smith, Chicago Streets and Sanitation.

As motorists un-encased their vehicles and got on the road, they realized that they were likely to hit some ice along the way.

"It was pretty icy. I had to use all four-by-four, even the side streets and alleys. A lot of salt needed everywhere," said Gio Salazar, motorist.

"You barely touch the gas and your rear end slides. It's an accident waiting to happen," said Nathaniel Smithey, motorist.

Pedestrians also slowed down. Sun and salt melted some of the ice, but caution is urged as the temperatures drop Monday evening.

"We could have salted and treated a street, and what happens is it does actually melt and refreezes, and it doesn't refreeze exactly the same, but we can have slick spots," said Smith.

So watch out.

Leah's tip: pantyhose. No, not wearing them, putting them over your shoe. Try it, it works. If you have to do a lot of walking, if you're slipping and sliding, try cutting and putting a pair of pantyhose over your shoes.


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