Snow, sleet in the mix for Chicago area

January 17, 2011 4:52:59 PM PST
A winter weather advisory is in effect for much of the Chicago area until Tuesday morning.

Light snow that moved into the area Monday morning is turning into sleet and freezing rain.

The snow started early in the morning, but with light holiday traffic and road crews able to salt, the expressways were mainly just wet through early afternoon.

The heaviest snow fell in the north and northwest suburbs. Long Grove got three to five inches.

Ten-year-old Brett Schnur and his sister Erin had little problem clearing the driveway of their Lake Zurich home.

"This is easy. It will probably take us about ten minutes," said Brett.

By mid afternoon, the snow had increased in intensity, turning roads that were just wet into snow-covered and slippery. Road crews tried to keep up with the snow that was falling at rates of up to an inch an hour.

The recent snowstorm is good news for businesses that depend on wintery weather.

"Lot of hours, lot of plowing all night long but it's awesome. I love it," said Mike Prefontaine, snow plow operator.

"Without the snow, we'd be dead. We're based on the weather, and if it doesn't snow in January, February, then we basically are getting ready for spring," said Dan Sarancak of Arlington Power Equipment.

Winds are causing some blowing and drifting of the snow, and with the precipitation likely to change over to sleet and freezing rain, there could be some travel problems throughout the evening.

For those who can't wait for the end of winter, just try to follow the optimistic mindset of Kathy Allison.

"We're having a beautiful January day here. It's really warm, really nice here. We're just glad half of January is over with. Waiting for spring," said Allison.

Roadways remain very slick and icy, especially north of the city.