Snow accumulation hampers commuters

February 12, 2008 9:11:13 PM PST
The snow hit once again during the evening rush hour. Some travel times doubled - even tripled for commuters. IDOT had trucks out all evening to make sure the morning rush goes smoother.

Lake effect snow was likely to impact several counties in the Chicago area, even on the west shore. A lake-effect snow advisory was in effect for four counties, including Lake County, Indiana, Lake County, Illinois, Cook County and Porter County until 11 p.m. CST.

The storm began to blossom at around noontime Tuesday. Snow enveloped the Chicago area, sometimes snowing at an inch per hour.

As of 4 p.m., there were reports of three to four inches of snow in Gurnee and Romeoville. But another wave of snow was several hours away. When that wave came into the lake-effect zone, we would see snow rates and totals creep up again. Most areas will get between three to six inches of snow before all is said and done.

Snow created problems for the evening commute. The on-again, off-again snow over the past 24 hours resulted in a very messy evening rush hour. As of 6 p.m., travel times were averaging between an hour or two on the Edens and Kennedy.

The roads everywhere were snow covered. The city snow command center said it had its full fleet of 273 snow trucks out on the main thoroughfares. They planned to clear the main roads by midnight, go home for rest, then return to work on side streets at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The snow, ice and low visibility are also affecting both O'Hare and Midway airports. Many flights at O'Hare, both arrivals and departures, were being delayed up to two hours because of the weather, with 450 cancellations. Midway was faring a little better with delays averaging about 45 minutes, with 15 cancellations reported.