Chicago Weather: Storm dumps most snow this winter

February 27, 2013 2:31:57 PM PST
More snow added to the misery of snow-weary Chicago-area residents Wednesday. Many areas got more than a half a foot of snow, making it the biggest snowstorm this season.

The heaviest snow totals were in the northern suburbs. According to ABC7 meteorologist Tracy Butler, 10 or more inches fell in suburbs like Lake Forest. The official snowfall total for the city of Chicago was 5.4 inches.

Cleanup efforts were in full force Wednesday in both the city and suburbs, with some snowplow operators having worked overnight. Mounds of snow could be seen piled up in several parking lots.

In suburban Lake Zurich, there was so much snow that crews used front-end loaders to remove it from some lots.

The story was similar across the northern suburbs Wednesday. It seemed like residents everywhere were shoveling and clearing the snow.

"It is all wet. It is heavy. I moved it all to the end of the driveway. So, you have three and a half feet of just -- it is really heavy, but a nice way to start the day," said shoveler Wes Griffiths.

The National Weather Service says, due to the weight of the snow, residents need to be very careful when shoveling it because they run the risk of causing major health problems, including heart attacks.

"Throw it easy. Take your time. This kind of snow [is what] they call the "heart attack maker," and it will kill you," said Chicago-area resident Willie Johnson.

People feel that they have to finish at one time, and that's what gets them into trouble," Dorie Flesher said.

Many kids were having fun in the wet snow, perfect for snowballs and snowmen.

Children in one Gurnee neighborhood had a blast on their block, which happened to look more like a snow globe, before they hopped on the school bus .

Meanwhile, some motorists were still driving slow and holding on tight for their commute to work.

"Absolutely, I'm not looking forward to this. I'm already late because my son's van was late to school. So, I will get there when I get there," driver Tiffany Lancaster said.

All of the weather warnings and advisories had been canceled for Illinois Wednesday morning, although there were still some in effect for parts of Wisconsin until approximately 12 p.m.

Snow did continue to fall in the Chicago area, however, into Wednesday afternoon.

With most of main roads in the city cleared and salted, the Chicago Dept. of Streets and Sanitation shifted its focus to the side streets Wednesday as the snow command redeployed its fleet of 284 snowplows onto those residential streets.

The snow had some people in the Old Town neighborhood digging out their tires and skidding off to work.

"It's a little slippery. Luckily, I have an SUV. So, I don't slide around too much, but it hasn't been too bad," said Lynsey Psimas.

"I usually drive out to Northbook. Today, I'm taking Metra to try an avoid some of the traffic," said Rachel Yost.

Many people were seen puddle-jumping, just trying to get across the street. The snow melted with warmer morning temperatures mixed with rain creating soupy, curbside pools of unhappiness.

"Very slushy. Lots of people jumping around over puddles, and it's been a mess," said Justin Capaccio.

"It's a pain. You do a little slipping, a little sliding, you know, so you have to have your boots, no doubt," Dan Barson said.