New report spells out what to do next time blizzard hits Chicago

June 20, 2011

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A new report out Monday from the City of Chicago recommends making some structural changes to Lake Shore Drive before another major blizzard hits.

The report recommends officials with the Chicago Department of Transportation look into cutting out chunks of the median along Lake Shore Drive so drivers could turn around in emergency situations. It also suggests towing equipment should be staged along the Drive when extreme weather is predicted and getting specialized towing equipment for the Chicago Transit Authority.

Hundreds of drivers on Lake Shore Drive had to abandon their cars after three quick accidents occurred during the February blizzard, when more than 20 inches of snow were dumped in a matter of hours.

"I think the biggest thing we learned from this is that there is limited access for emergency responders on Lake Shore Drive," said Gary Schenkel, the new head of the OEMC, Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Officials with OEMC also say more surveillance cameras are coming to Lake Shore Drive, up from the 17 already installed.

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