Snow keeps Chicago commuters on their toes

February 4, 2013 4:18:17 PM PST
Although it wasn't a lot, Chicagoans were kept busy Monday by the latest snowfall to hit the city.

Though it wasn't as bad as Monday morning's slow-going commute, the slick roads did cause at least one accident during the evening rush hour: a truck lost its load on the Kennedy Expressway at Fulton.

Anywhere between 1 and 4 inches fell across the Chicago area. The city's plows were on the job since Sunday night, plowing and salting main streets before hitting side streets.

Nearly 3 inches of snow was recorded at O'Hare, making this the largest snowfall since February 24, 2012.

"I started last night in the Hyde Park area, Stony Island area, salting up and down the streets, making sure everybody could have a nice, safe commute," said city snow plow driver Andre Swanson.

Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams told ABC7 Monday morning that snow plow trucks had been out clearing the streets since 10 p.m. Sunday.

Williams also said residents could log onto to track snow plows in their areas.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said its plows were out in force on all expressways Monday.

In suburban Des Plaines, residents were scooping anywhere from 3 to 4 inches of snow that fell overnight while snow plow trucks worked on the side streets.

"I heard the snowplows. I saw the snow. Now, I am out here," resident Ken Marek told ABC7 Chicago.

Some commuters in Park Ridge, Ill., had to brush the snow off their cars before heading to work for the first time this winter. Most said they welcomed the blast.

"This is just exercise instead of going to the gym," said Gina Tunar of Park Ridge. "I think everyone should be happy. This is almost the first snow of the season."

The snow gave some private contractors a chance to cash in on the weather finally.

"We have plowed this lot three times already. Instead of being able to go back and forth, we have to keep plowing," said snow plow driver David Steuer.

The snow began falling Sunday night and continued through Monday morning's rush hour, making a mess of the commute. Drivers were urged to use caution on the roads and expressways.

Since residents in the Chicago area have not had to deal with much snow this winter, there was some concern that motorists might not be used to driving in the snow.

"People are still driving as though it were dry out," said motorist Robert Rush.

"I was in the car sliding and skidding around, but if you're from the city, you understand what this means. You leave 15 minutes early, you give yourself a little extra time, and you are a little more careful," driver Craig El said.

The snowfall also caused several crashes. In one morning incident downtown, a three-car accident was reported on the Ontario Ramp to the Kennedy Expressway. One man was transported to the hospital with injuries.

Although the snow tapered off later Monday morning, motorists were warned travel could still be treacherous in some places.

And if you don't have to drive, for the first time since last winter, there is enough snow to sled or build a snowman.