Chicago area braces for first snow storm of season

December 3, 2010 (CHICAGO)

In west suburban Downers Grove, snow crews were getting ready for the winter storm Friday night. Shoppers snatched snow shovels, snow blowers, salt and ice scrapers.

"A lot of people coming in. Just taking care of customer after customer, getting them the snow shovels, the snow blowers," said Brian Davis, Home Depot assistant manager.

It's the season - the snow season, that is.

"We are ready for Christmas. How about the ice scraper? Oh yeah, he can use it," said Edith Wickliff who was shopping Friday night.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) equipment was already on the move loading salt Friday night. Most of the drivers were sent home early, so they can return overnight to work 12-hour shifts.

"We've been ready to go for a month and a half now. We have a full complement of manpower, and all our trucks are up and ready to go," said Dennis Mahoney, IDOT maintenance operations manager.

In Chicago, the Office of Streets and Sanitation will follow the storm from the command center and dispatch crews.

"Our first priority is to clear our main routes and Lake Shore Drive. We will generally remain on these primary routes until the storm subsides. We can then also monitor side street conditions through many cameras that we have at our disposal," said Commissioner Thomas Byrne, Streets and Sanitation.

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