Slick roads cause crashes all over Chicago area

February 21, 2011 8:51:16 PM PST
Icy roads created dangerous driving conditions Monday night with spinouts and crashes reported in the city and suburbs.

In addition, a winter weather advisory is in effect for Cook County and areas to the north of Chicago until 6 a.m. Tuesday. ABC7 meteorologist Jerry Taft said the Chicago area could get 1-2 inches of snow.

Lake Shore Drive was shut down for a while due to multiple collisions Monday night. Problems were also reported on the Eisenhower Extension, just south of Elgin O'Hare, where there was another multiple car crash in Itasca.

Police were busy responding to crashes on nearly every highway. Both the city and state said they had full complements of salt trucks out.

"Shortly before 9 o'clock, we put orders out for a full group of trucks and plows and salt-spreading equipment in the north, northwest and west suburbs with half a group in the south and southwest suburbs. We are really seeing a mix of everything, the whole gamut from sleet and freezing rain to snow," said Guy Tridgell, IDOT spokesperson.

Illinois State Police sent out an advisory to warn drivers to take extreme caution on the roads. They said drivers should avoid any sudden braking or quick lane changes.

Also Monday night, emergency crews responded when a plane skidded off the runway at Executive Airport in Wheeling.

Overnight, a new winter storm slammed into parts of the upper Midwest, dumping snow at a rate of up to 3 inches an hour in some places.

Over a foot of snow fell across parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, virtually closing the Minneapolis airport.

"I stepped outside and said a few prayers. Hope to get home. What else can you do?" said Ray Moore who was stranded in Minneapolis.

The heavy rain pushed many rivers over their banks including the Des Plaines River which flooded roadways in Des Plaines.

On Monday morning, some freezing temperatures and light freezing drizzle created treacherous driving conditions across the northern suburbs, leading to several accidents.

With more snow expected, many Chicagoans are ready for winter to be over.

"It's always been like this since I was a kid, you know. A couple weeks ago, there was snow up to here, and now we are starting all over again," Sherman Booker.

"Like anybody, I'm ready for warmer weather, and especially this icy stuff that's coming down," said Brian Meeks.

But for some, the snow is actually an opportunity to make a living.

"It's work. Anybody who has got work is lucky now, aren't they? So it is a positive for me," said Brian West.

This is the third snowiest February on record.