WBEZ | snowstorm http://www.wbez.org/tags/snowstorm Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago braces for season's first snowstorm http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-braces-seasons-first-snowstorm-95481 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-12/shovels AP Photo Robert F. Bukaty.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago is preparing for its first snowstorm of the season. The city and suburbs are expected to get four to eight inches of snow beginning Thursday morning. Accumulation is expected to taper off Friday morning.</p><p>Andrew Krein is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He said to brace for the worst of the storm Thursday afternoon.</p><p>"It's when the heaviest snow is expected to fall that's also when the wind is going to be the strongest. So this afternoon's rush hours - it's gonna be a mess," Krein said.</p><p>Wind gusts could reach up to 35 mph and temperatures will be falling throughout Thursday getting into the 20s in the evening. But it'll get colder overnight. Krein said Friday morning will be in the teens and the wind chill will make it feel close to zero. The weekend's high temperatures are expected to be in the 20s with light snow potential on Saturday.</p><p>The city and related agencies are preparing to handle the snow. This past fall two turnaround spots were installed on Lake Shore Drive - one at Schiller, the other at Armitage, to prevent motorists from getting stranded like they during<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/great-lsd-gridlock-blizzard-1979-redux"> last February's "snowmageddon."</a> The Office of Emergency Management said it has coordinated plans to close off other major arterial streets and divert traffic, if needed.</p><p>Also new this year is <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/snowportal/chicagoshovels.html">chicagoshovels.org</a>. Chicagoans can sign up to lend a hand to the elderly and others in need of snow removal. There's also an adopt-a-sidewalk feature where people can claim a stretch of sidewalk and make it their responsibility to keep it clear and safe. Another feature is a real-time snow plow tracker that can be used to track the progress of streets getting cleared.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Transportation said it has prepped all its emergency equipment. It says IDOT has more than 400,000 tons of salt, 3,600 employees and 1,700 pieces of equipment prepared for deployment to cover over 43,000 lane miles statewide. IDOT is encouraging motorists to drive cautiously and give plenty of room to snow plows. If you do get in car trouble on the road, IDOT said to pull over to a shoulder if possible and then call&nbsp; *999 and help will be on the way.&nbsp;</p><p>Commonwealth Edison said it has updated storm response procedures and has some new technical capabilities. ComEd is offering a text messaging system in which you can report an outage via text and ComEd will text restoration info back to you. To report an outage customers can text the word OUT to 26633 (C-O-M-E-D on a touchtone phone).</p></p> Thu, 12 Jan 2012 12:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-braces-seasons-first-snowstorm-95481 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 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 Snowmobiles on stand-by for Chicagoans in need http://www.wbez.org/story/news/quinn-calls-national-guard-blizzard <p><p>Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says his city has learned a couple of things from New York City about dealing with snow storms: use ice melters and have snowmobiles ready in case of emergency.</p><p>Daley says the ice melters - essentially jet engines - will be used to help clear away the estimated 1 to 2 feet of snow the city is predicted to get overnight instead of trucking it out. He says that would take thousands of trucks and cost too much money. New York has used the machines for years. But that city was criticized when ambulances couldn't reach some people after a&nbsp;post-Christmas blizzard because of impassable streets.</p><p>Chicago officials say they have dozens of snowmobiles on standby to help rescue people.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn has activated the<span style="font-weight: bold;"> </span>Illinois National Guard ahead of the snowstorm. &nbsp;Quinn said this morning he has activated more than 500 troops to help stranded motorists on interstate highways. The governor's office says the troops will be stationed at rest areas along&nbsp;highways. That will include Interstate 70 and highways north of I-70.</p><p>Troops will have supplies like water and snack bars. They will work with the Illinois State Police to make sure stranded travelers are safe. Quinn activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield yesterday to coordinate the state's response to the storm.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Feb 2011 21:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/quinn-calls-national-guard-blizzard