Chicago Weather: Snow tapers off, crews clear roads

February 1, 2014 (CHICAGO)

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago has a game plan to tackle this latest snowstorm.

''We are working to clear main streets right now, we're going to get right to the neighborhood when we have confidence that the last weather pattern has gone through the city so we can make sure our residential streets are as plowed and passable as our main streets, which is a public safety priority for all of us,'' said Mayor Emanuel.

The entire fleet of 287 snow plows and salt spreaders and 26 smaller four-wheel drive snow plows to side and residential streets has been redeployed by the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Over 310 snow plows will now focus on ensuring side and residential streets are safe and passable. The full snow plow fleet has been clearing main streets and Lake Shore Drive since late Friday evening as snow showers continued to fall in Chicago Friday evening and throughout the day today, the department said.

The snow has air travel as well. O'Hare Airport has canceled more than 375 flights, and Midway has canceled 105 flights. Delays at both airports are averaging about 30 minutes.Travelers are advised to check their flight status before heading to the airports.

By 6 p.m., O'Hare International Airport reported 4 inches of snow, and Midway had received 5.3 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The heaviest snowfall hit the south suburbs and areas in northwest Indiana, the weather service said. By 6 p.m., south suburban Lansing had received 7 inches of snow.

Snowfall began to taper off by Saturday evening as the storm traveled southeast toward Indiana, and temperatures were not forecasted to dip below 5 degrees, meteorologists said. Warmer temperatures are a result of air pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico.

Illinois State Police cautioned drivers in the Chicago area that whiteout conditions were possible Saturday. Drivers were asked to be aware of black ice and carry emergency supplies in their vehicles.

Sunday is expected to be dry, with temperatures in the teens

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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