CHICAGO (WLS) -- Heavy lake effect snow pummeled the Chicago area Friday morning, dumping several inches of accumulation and creating hazardous travel conditions.
Areas along the North Shore were particularly hard hit, with Wilmette, Skokie and Evanston getting pounded with over 9 inches of snow. In the city, Midway and Humboldt Park saw upwards of 7 inches.
-Wilmette - 10 inches
-Evanston - 9 inches
-Skokie - 9 inches
-Jefferson Park - 8 inches
-Humboldt Park - 7.5 inches
-Midway - 7.2 inches
-Harwood Heights - 7.1 inches
-Lincoln Square - 6 inches
-Glencoe - 4.8 inches
-Oak Forest - 4.6 inches
-Oak Park - 4.5 inches
-Oak Lawn - 4.3 inches
-Chicago Ridge - 4.2 inches
-West Ridge - 3.6 inches
-O'Hare - 3.3 inches
-Franklin Park - 2.7 inches
-Elmhurst - 2.3 inches
-Homewood - 2.0 inches
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The National Weather Service reported snow fell at a rate of two to two-and-a-half inches per hour at times before tapering off in the afternoon. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories across the area expired at 2 p.m.
The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation has deployed approximately 270 snow vehicles to respond to the snowstorm. Crews will focus on the city's main arterial streets before shifting to residential side streets.
Meanwhile, IDOT has deployed 300 snow vehicles to clear area expressways.
On the Southwest Side, folks got out early to unbury their vehicles and get ready for the treacherous drive.
"Man, it's a mess. It's gonna take me like 40 minutes just to get to work," Marshand Deloney said.
Items for dibs were already out. The snow came fast, making roadways very slick.
Little Italy digs out from lake effect snow
In the Little Italy neighborhood, the always-bustling Taylor Street was busy with folks digging out. Vince Navarro was shoveling out his car, which he left on the street even though he has a parking spot.
"I was only expecting an inch or two of snow," Navarro said. "That's on me. That's on me, not the weathermen."
Still, some live the beauty that comes from a fresh coat of snow and the winter wonderland it leaves behind.
"It's beautiful," said Hansel Madrigal. "It's God's creation, you know. It's nice!!"
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"It's beautiful, I love it," said Jairo Madrigal. "I was shoveling. I like the coldness about to get a little coffee to get powered up and shovel some more!"
While everyone else tries to deal with the mess.
"It's about time for me to go someplace nice and sunny," Deloney said. "My bones can't take this type of weather like this no more."
North Shore hit by winter wallop of lake-effect snow
In Wilmette, whole neighborhoods were left to dig out after the wintry wallop. Red Gerster in Wilmette cleared snow from in front of his home and also helped his neighbors.
"I love it," Gerster said. "I'm from northern Michigan, so this is perfect. My neighbor over here makes us cookies too every time we do it, so my kids love that."
"Oh it was insane, yeah," Wilmette resident Mark Furtig said. "I came out from a meeting and just took a look and I had lost the tracks from earlier."
More than seven and a half inches of snow fell in Wilmette, with Evanston not far behind. The neighboring north suburbs were hit hard by lake effect snow that didn't slow until after noon.
That mess made the roads a major hazard, stressing out motorists clutching the wheel.
"It's really bad," Evanston motorist Honor Michel said. "I have to drive like 5 miles per hour, like turning into the this parking spot was like so hard."
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"It was a strong one, but it was a nice one," gas station owner Mitch Klein said. "Because of the way it came. And it was all, it was powder. It's not heavy."
Klein welcomed in a behemoth to plow his gas station lot, courtesy of Joseph St. Clair with Green Concept Landscapes.
"Keep the guys going as much as you can during the slow periods and once we get the big snow, get everybody in and it's all hands on deck," St. Clair said.
But some private plow companies are asking for patience as they work to clear the snow away.
"Yeah, it has been difficult these last two winters," said Maggie Downer, president of Northwest Snow Removal.
Even after doubling employee pay from two years ago, Downer is still seeing staffing shortages.
"I think we have more competition now with less physically intensive job choices," she said.
But if you don't have to plow it or shovel it, this snow has a silver lining.
"We're just having fun out here in the snow," Kelly Whelan said. "He got off of school early so we came out to beat the crowd and have some fun!"
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