Officials checked in from Snow Command, where extreme weather is monitored in Chicago, to update frustrated commuters on what they’d be doing to get the streets clear on Tuesday morning.
Yesterday the city was blanketed in 2 to 3 inches of snow just as rush hour began, according to John Tully, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner. That timing made it hard to get the streets cleared quickly, and resulted in a slow, messy commute.
Tully spent the better part of last night monitoring the weather and snow plow trucks began clearing residential streets at 3 a.m., he said. That was of course after major streets and highways were plowed.
Another snowfall is expected to bring 1 or 2 more inches during rush hour on Tuesday. “The weather is testing our patience,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the press conference.
The biggest challenge this winter has been keeping ice off the streets, Tully said. Although we haven’t had that much snow this season, the low temperatures and damp weather have made ice a huge problem. It’s also not something people typically look out for if there isn’t snow on the ground, which makes it all the more dangerous.
Over at Snow Command, they’ve got a handle on monitoring and preparing for what will come this week. “Street sensors and camera systems give us a good idea of what’s going on. The monitors can tell us when there is potential for ice,” Tully said.
Tully and others spend a lot of hours watching these monitors to make sure the city is prepared. Although he might be there at 3 a.m., he assured reporters that he does eventually go home while others take over.
The snow plows will work through more residential streets Tuesday, and they’ve got plenty of salt to lay down. More than 260 tons have been unloaded since last night.