The snow is moving out of the Chicago area, but falling temperatures may leave wet and untreated roads slick across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana, the National Weather Service said Monday night. Drivers are reminded to use extra caution, especially on bridges.
Slick roads are being blamed for a series of crashes Monday night. In Palatine, at least three cars were banged up near the intersection of Route 14 and Dundee Road. In Fox Lake, two people were sent to the hospital after a crash on the icy overpass where Route 59 crosses Rollins Road.
It's as if many forgot the first rule of winter driving: slow down.
"Not this early in the season they're not, people forget every winter how to drive," said Margaret Krolikowski, driver.
By early Monday evening, the snow had ended in the far nothern suburbs. Lake and McHenry Counties picked up about an inch of snow, mainly on grassy surfaces. It is the earliest accumulating snow the area has seen in seven years.
While roadways were mainly wet through the rush hour, the City of Chicago deployed 45 salt trucks Monday afternoon ahead of the evening commute to prepare roads for the rain/snow mix.
On Monday early evening, O'Hare International Airport reported some inbound or arriving flights may be delayed more than 60 minutes, according to the FAA air traffic tracker reports.
Northwest Indiana braces for lake-effect snow
The National Weather Service predicts that parts of Northwest Indiana could see three to seven inches of snow by Tuesday night. La Porte and St. Joseph Counties are under a Lake Effect Snow Warning until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Porter County is under a Lake Effect Snow Advisory until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
On Monday night in Chesterton, Ind., snow spit on drivers but isn't sticking to the ground just yet. Road crews performed a quick switch, calling off leaf removal operations and gearing up for a snow removal.
"We rely on our police department, they're out cruising the town and if they see the roads getting snowy and slippery, they'll give us a call and we'll come out," said Dave Tucker, Chesterton Streets Dept.
Allen Welp is switching gears from the lawn care part of his business to snow removal after predictions that several inches of lake effect snow will fall in Porter and La Porte counties.
Welp is getting his fleet of nine trucks ready to hit the roads and keep them clear of snow.
"Gotta make sure we have clients lined up, trucks hooked up, plows hooked up. Make sure everything's right," said Allen Welp, Allen's Snow Removal and Lawn Care.
That also includes loading lots of salt onto his trucks. Eighteen pallets were trucked in back in September, when he bought it at a more affordable price-- bargain hunting to make up for a slow season last year. Welp usually averages 15 plows a year, but last year, he only plowed twice.
"If it don't snow, we have nothing else coming in," said Welp.
The Ace Hardware is ready for people to come in and stock up on shovels and salt. There's hope that this early blast of winter means a boost in sales.
"We're hoping it's gonna be a lot better than what it was the past 2 years. Past couple of years have been kind of dry," said Steve Thorne, Portage Ace Hardware.
Porter residents say snow doesn't typically fall until after thanksgiving, but that didn't stop people from buying some supplies. At Menard's, salt and shovels seemed a popular choice.
"I've seen this lake effect snow all my life, as far as the snake action that it can do, so you never can tell," said Troy Brehmer, resident.
Northwest Indiana is expected to see heavier lake-effect snowfall beginning at about 8 or 9 p.m. Monday night and continuing into Tuesday morning.