Chicago digs out after snowstorm

January 21, 2012 8:17:49 PM PST
Saturday was a day of digging out for people in the Chicago area with plows, snowblowers and shovels working to clear the biggest snowfall since last February's blizzard.

About six inches of snow fell in Chicago -- the bulk of which came during Friday's evening commute -- at a rate of about an inch an hour. City crews worked overnight and into the day clearing the main roads and side streets.

They continued to plow the streets.

What the streets looked like Saturday really depended on where you live. In Humboldt Park, the side streets were largely clear, with most of the snow off to the sides. But not so in neighborhoods on the South Side.

"I'm stuck unfortunately and there is no other way for me to do it," said Anthony Robinson, falling as he pushed his van. "She has to drive and I do the pushing. It is what it is and there is no way getting away from it."

Maneuvering the side streets in the Grand Crossing neighborhood was a challenge Saturday afternoon. Drivers were slipping and sliding along snow covered streets.

"You try to stop at stop signs (and) you're still going," said Zanie Braxton. "They're not putting enough salt down."

Streets and sanitation officials said it had 183 plows clearing the side streets. A full fleet started tackling them at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, but got diverted for a while to deal with the lake effect snow that fell. Residents are also digging out it's been a long and tiring effort.

"It was all day," said Jean Moy. "It's one thing when it's a couple of hours and it's done. I'd rather that. Ii'm like ok. This is the third time."

While the snow was seen as an annoyance for those in charge of shoveling and cleaning, kids were having a blast at a sledding hill in Skokie with this long-awaited winter wonderland.

"We're lucky we even had this snow," Al Gaines said. "We've been having summer for months and months, so just enjoy it."

The second major snowfall of the winter canceled hundreds of Chicago flights: more than 700 at O'Hare International Airport and about 100 at Midway Airport. As of Saturday morning, flights were getting back on schedule with no major issues, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.

    Some of the snow totals for the Chicago area:
  • Joliet-9.1 inches
  • Peotone-7.3 inches
  • Dyer, IN-9.0 inches
  • Chicago-6.2 inches
  • Bolingbrook-7.7 inches
  • Lansing-7.8 inches
  • Mokena-8.5 inches
  • Ohare-5.4 inches
  • Midway-7.3 inches
  • Bourbonnais-6.7 inches
  • Naoperville-7.2 inches
  • Coal City 5.8 inches
  • Rolling Meadows-7.0 inches
  • Romeoville-6.6 inches
  • Plainfield-6.2 inches
  • Beecher-8.0 inches