Chicago weather: More snow before bitter cold hits

A wintry mix made for a messy Saturday all across the Chicago area, as early morning snow, turned into rain, which left behind a lot of slush to walk through and shovel away.

There are two more rounds of snow on the way and bitter cold to follow.

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"Temperatures will fall overnight and whatever rain we have will change to snow," said ABC7 Eyewitness News meteorologist Phil Schwarz.

If there is some good news in the coming winter storm it is the people who do the clearing of the roads should be pretty well rested, and the salt supplies in most communities should be pretty good for this point in the season.

The plow on his truck has gotten no use so far this winter, but Tim Fuchsen of E.L.F. Snowplowing is making sure it's in good working order for this week. He's hoping to make up for lost time. The mild winter so far has taken its toll on his budget.

"The bills keep coming and when the snow is not, it makes things a little tough," he said.

The trucks are loaded up with salt and ready to go in Elmhurst's Public Works garage tonight. Based on the forecast drivers are expecting to be out on the roads in full force Saturday night.

"It's always good to have guys be able to be home with their families for Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Years and all of that. At this point it's January and we'll see what happens," said Elmhurst Streets Superintendent Kim McGrew.

The rather warm December has not only given drivers a break, but also saved thousands of dollars in the budget for street salt. So far there has been little need for it with only a couple relatively minor events.

"We are on track this year, under budget," said Asst. Public Works Director Cori Tiberi.

In Chicago, a full complement of more than 280 trucks hit the streets early Saturday morning, salting the roads and clearing what amounted to a dusting of snow. Many people took advantage of the relatively warm temperatures to try ice skating or other winter activities.

Fuschen spent the day getting his trucks ready for work.

"The good Lord willing see that white stuff coming out of the sky and then generate some of that green stuff," he said.

With cold expected to follow the snow, veterinarians at the South Loop Animal Hospital are reminding pet owners to clean the paws of their dogs and cats because of the harmful effect winter ice melting salt spread can have on them.

"I had one dog already with an irritated paw from running around at the dog park to extensively and having an irritated paw pad from salt," said Dr. Robert Plaurd.

GREEN LINE CONSTRUCTION DELAYED BY WEATHER

Work scheduled for this weekend on the new Cermak-McCormick Place station along the Green Line has been cancelled.

The CTA says the expected winter weather will make it hard for crews to continue to work on the track and the new station there.

The transit agency said that weather permitting, commuters should expect service disruptions next weekend between the Roosevelt and 35th Street stations.
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