WBEZ | blizzard http://www.wbez.org/tags/blizzard Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Blizzard hits southern Illinois http://www.wbez.org/news/blizzard-hits-southern-illinois-104558 <p><p>CARBONDALE, Ill. &mdash; A winter storm has slammed into southern Illinois, leaving roads covered in snow and ice and prompting officials to urge residents to stay home if they can.</p><p>National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Spaeth says 8 to 10 inches of snow is on the ground from Carbondale over to Marion.</p><p>WSIU Radio <a href="http://bit.ly/WQGZ3S" target="_blank">reports</a> that the storm forced the National Weather Service office in Paducah, Ky., to issue its first ever blizzard warning for the region.</p><p>Southern Illinois is also being buffeted by strong wings with gusts of 35 to 40 mph. Authorities say the storm could lead to white-out conditions and may reduce visibility on southern Illinois roads to under a quarter mile at times.</p></p> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 08:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/blizzard-hits-southern-illinois-104558 New escape routes for Lake Shore Drive http://www.wbez.org/story/new-escape-routes-lake-shore-drive-93621 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-31/AP Photo Kiichiro Sato_ Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Road crews begin work Monday on Lake Shore Drive to make it easier for cars to avoid getting stuck during a blizzard. City workers will begin building two turnaround points after rush hour.</p><p>Both escape routes are on the near North Side - one will be at Armitage; the other at Schiller. Chicago Department of Transportation officials say those spots were chosen because they're prone to snow drifts.</p><p>They will create turnaround access to north and southbound lanes during emergency situations, like last February's 20 inches of snow blizzard. Drivers and vehicles were stranded on the Drive for hours.</p><p>Three lanes in both directions will remain open around the construction zone. The new turnarounds are expected to be completed by late November.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 31 Oct 2011 12:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-escape-routes-lake-shore-drive-93621 New emergency official defends keeping Lake Shore Drive open during blizzard http://www.wbez.org/story/new-emergency-official-defends-keeping-lake-shore-drive-open-during-blizzard-88090 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/108759823.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago emergency officials are defending how the city handled February's blizzard, including the decision to keep Lake Shore Drive open during the evening rush hour.</p><p>The public comments come after a new report was given to the media outlining how the city should handle the next blizzard that may come Chicago's way. Gary Schenkel is the new head of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and says he wouldn't have closed Lake Shore Drive before the blizzard hit, either, even though hundreds of vehicles were buried in the rapidly falling snow after traffic came to a halt.</p><p>Joe Schwieterman is a transportation professor at DePaul University.</p><p>"There's kind of a, I think, assumption here that the next crisis is going to be like the last one and so a lot of these measures certainly will help, but there's a feel-good element to this, I think," he said.</p><p>The report recommends cutting out parts of the Lake Shore Drive median so drivers could turn around and having tow trucks close by when bad weather is coming.</p></p> Tue, 21 Jun 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-emergency-official-defends-keeping-lake-shore-drive-open-during-blizzard-88090 New report spells out what to do next time blizzard hits Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/new-report-spells-out-what-do-next-time-blizzard-hits-chicago-88085 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/LSD Tim Brown 1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A new report out Monday from the City of Chicago recommends making some structural changes to Lake Shore Drive before another major blizzard hits.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>"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.</p><p>Officials with OEMC also say more surveillance cameras are coming to Lake Shore Drive, up from the 17 already installed.</p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 21:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-report-spells-out-what-do-next-time-blizzard-hits-chicago-88085 Month in Review: Chicago elects a new mayor http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-28/month-review-chicago-elects-new-mayor-and-residents-fight-weather-woes-8 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/mayor-elect emanuel Getty John Gress_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Citizens spent the first half of the month digging out&nbsp; and Politicians spent the last half digging in. No doubt about it, everywhere in Chicago this February, someone was shoveling something. A historic election topped a month where Chicago not just generated a lot of news but generated a lot of national attention as well.<br /><br />WBEZ's Jason Marck fills in for a vacationing Alison Cuddy to get behind the headlines.<span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> invited a panel of esteemed journalists to talk about the news of the month of February 2011: <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/kyles-files/" target="_blank">Kyra Kyles</a> is a columnist for the <em>RedEye</em>, <a href="http://search.espn.go.com/lester-munson/" target="_blank"> Lester Munson</a> writes for ESPN and Ethan Michaeli is the executive director of <a href="http://wethepeoplemedia.org/" target="_blank">We The People Media</a> and founder of <em>Residents&rsquo; Journal</em>.</p><p><em>Music Button: Botany, &quot;Agave&quot;, Feeling Today (Western Vinyl)</em></p></p> Mon, 28 Feb 2011 14:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-28/month-review-chicago-elects-new-mayor-and-residents-fight-weather-woes-8 The serenity of a walk in the snow http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/serenity-walk-snow-81976 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blizzard 2011_getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>It was by foot and not car that most of us made our way through last week&rsquo;s blizzard. Writer Tom Montgomery Fate revels in those moments of motion. <br /><br /><br />I walk along the edge of the woods on a cold sunny day, until I arrive at one of the poetry boxes.&nbsp; There are six such boxes placed along different walking trails here on our farm. They always remind me to slow down and to attend&mdash;to all the words waiting in the woods amid the frozen tomb of winter.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />Each 16 by 20 inch wooden box is mounted on a small post a few feet from a split log bench.&nbsp; The boxes look like lecture podiums and have hinged lids that flip open to hold one book of poetry, a journal, and a pen.&nbsp; We put the books and journals into Tupperware containers, because it turns out that bugs like poetry too.&nbsp; Some spiders are spending the winter nestled with Pablo Neruda in the poetry box near the river.&nbsp; A caterpillar I know, however, prefers Carl Sandburg and the box beneath the apple tree. <br /><br />But when I flip up the lid of the meadow box I remember: The paper wasps love Mary Oliver.&nbsp; Last summer when I opened this box a dozen of her devotees tried to scare me away from their literary queen, and one stung me.&nbsp; Today, however, there are only two wasps, and they&rsquo;re in cold weather stupor.&nbsp; They stay in their cracks while I pull out the book: Why I Wake Early. I&rsquo;ve read it before, yet am always drawn to one poem: &ldquo;Where does the Temple Begin, Where does it end?&rdquo;<br /><br />Given Oliver&rsquo;s Temple image, I suddenly imagine the poetry box as a little pulpit.&nbsp; So I walk up, stand behind it and read her poem aloud to the captive community&ndash;&ndash;to the barren, creaking oak trees, and the icy buckthorn and blackberry canes. <br /><br />No one responds to my reading of scripture.&nbsp; No nodding or swaying.&nbsp; No one drops an affirming leaf or a confetti of seeds.&nbsp; So next I try a silent prayer&mdash;the kind that can go on forever.&nbsp; Perhaps if I wait long enough the pastor and the rest of the congregation will arrive.<br /><br />They don&rsquo;t.&nbsp; But the liturgy continues:&nbsp; a honking Canada goose rises in the silence, along with the hollow mechanical rapping of a woodpecker, and the wind whooshing up through the soft whorls of the white pines.&nbsp; Then comes confession: the hard, grinding whir of a chainsaw, and the sad drone of the semi trucks roaring down the distant interstate.&nbsp; Overhead a jet slowly draws a white line across the blue grey bowl of the sky, as it carries 200 people to some place they need to arrive very soon.&nbsp;&nbsp; I wonder where they&rsquo;re all going. <br /><br />Then the latecomers arrive.&nbsp; Two bluejays drop in nearby and peck around for seeds.&nbsp; Then, finally, the pastor shows up:&nbsp; A wild turkey, which I must have startled, comes sprinting out of the woods all bothered and anxious like a character from an old Disney cartoon.&nbsp; He pauses on the edge of the meadow looking crazy&mdash;like he&rsquo;s both terrified and wants to scold me&ndash;&ndash;then tears back into the trees without giving his sermon.&nbsp; <br /><br />Twenty minutes later comes the offering, or maybe it&rsquo;s communion:&nbsp; A red-tailed hawk appears soaring high above our odd little church.&nbsp; Four feet of wing, three pounds of&nbsp; blood and muscle, and with binoculars for eyes&ndash;&ndash;a red tail can spot a mouse from a mile away.&nbsp;&nbsp; And he can tell right now whether my eyes are closed or opened.&nbsp; Though when I look up at him I can&rsquo;t see anything clearly&ndash;&ndash;except the wind, which he makes visible. <br /><br />Soon the sun dips under a cloud and the hawk&rsquo;s slow gliding shadow disappears from the weeds. Then the hawk breaks his circle and drifts away.&nbsp; His beak becomes the curved tip of a wide, strong-winged arrow pointing toward home.&nbsp; And this is our benediction.&nbsp; <em><br /><br /></em><br /><em>Tom Montgomery Fate teaches creative writing at </em><a target="_blank" href="http://home.cod.edu/"><em>College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn</em></a><em>, and is the author of </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.beacon.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=2198"><em>Cabin Fever</em></a><em>, a nature memoir forthcoming from </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.beacon.org/"><em>Beacon Press</em></a><em>. </em></p><p><em>Music Button: Leo Kottke, &quot;Accordian Bells&quot;, from the CD One Guitar No Vocals, (RCA Victor) </em></p></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 15:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/serenity-walk-snow-81976 Is Lake Shore Drive Safe? U.S. Senators weigh in http://www.wbez.org/story/blizzard/lake-shore-drive-safe-us-senators-weigh <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/108759823.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois' two U.S. Senators are looking into the safety of Lake Shore Drive. That follows last week's blizzard, which forced hundreds of drivers to abandon their vehicles there.</p><p>Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk are trying to coordinate efforts between different government agencies. At the top of the list is studying the impact waves could have had on Lake Shore Drive during last week's blizzard if water levels hadn't been incredibly low.</p><p>In a letter sent to the Army Corp of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Durbin and Kirk said they want to talk about increasing the amount of green space along the lakefront in addition to preventing floods. They said the City of Chicago and the Park District will head up discussions on the local level.</p><p>Hundreds of drivers were stranded for hours during the storm after three accidents occurred in the same area in quick succession. Because of the standstill, Lake Shore Drive was closed to drivers for more than 30 hours.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 07 Feb 2011 13:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/blizzard/lake-shore-drive-safe-us-senators-weigh Officials: Snow plowing has been equitable http://www.wbez.org/story/news/officials-snow-plowing-has-been-equitable <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/IMG_0849.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago officials say crews have now opened most side streets after this week&rsquo;s blizzard. And they&rsquo;re rejecting claims that the city is neglecting some neighborhoods. <br /><br />Complaints about the snow removal are coming from several City Council members. <br /><br />Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said Friday afternoon that her constituents had been calling her office all day. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s disheartening for residents whose street hasn&rsquo;t been plowed to see on TV that the downtown is devoid of snow,&rdquo; Lyle said.<br /><br />Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) is asking the city&rsquo;s inspector general to investigate whether the snow removal has been equitable. Jackson spokeswoman Keiana Barrett on Friday afternoon said much of the ward remained impassable and that factors might include politics.<br /><br />Matt Smith, spokesman of the Streets and Sanitation Department, insisted that the department was doing the best it could and that its decisions had nothing to do with clout. &ldquo;Some areas&mdash;based on weather conditions, drifting and other situations&mdash;have been hit harder,&rdquo; Smith said. &ldquo;We assess those and we clear them up.&rdquo;<br /><br />Smith said city crews would continue working on side streets through the weekend.<br /><br />The city is not planning to plow alleys, however. Streets and San Commissioner Tom Byrne on Friday said the snow would block garages and that garbage trucks were laying down grooves instead.</p></p> Fri, 04 Feb 2011 21:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/officials-snow-plowing-has-been-equitable Extreme weather doesn't stop race for mayor http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/weather-doesnt-stop-race-mayor <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/mayoral debate 2011_getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago may be in a deep freeze but the political scene is still hopping! With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, the candidates for Mayor can&rsquo;t really afford a day off. WBEZ&rsquo;s political reporter Sam Hudzik joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to chat about the latest blizzard of activity in the Mayoral race.<br /><br />Early voting sites in Chicago are closed again Thursday because of the weather. But voters can still vote at the downtown offices of the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/"> Chicago Election Board</a>.</p></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 16:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/weather-doesnt-stop-race-mayor Residents weigh in on effects of blizzard http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/residents-weigh-effects-blizzard <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/northcenter snow.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>One of the worst blizzards in Chicago&rsquo;s history is over. But many Illinois residents are still dealing with the aftermath &ndash; rescuing abandoned cars, waiting for their power to come back on and wondering when they can send their children back to school. And city officials are still answering questions about their response to the storm. Chicago residents shared their complaints and praises of the city's response. Host Alison&nbsp;Cuddy was also joined by <a href="http://www.wittassociates.com/about/our-staff/kate-leese-burgers/" target="_blank">Kate Leese Burgers</a>, an Emergency Management Specialist with Witt Associates, and Mike Brockway, who's known as <a href="http://theexpiredmeter.com/" target="_blank">The Parking Ticket Geek</a>.<br /><br />Share your stories in the comments section below.</p><p><em>Music Button: Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, &quot;1812 Overture&quot;, from the CD Hooked Up Classics, (Ubiquity)</em></p></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 15:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/residents-weigh-effects-blizzard