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Dangerous Cold, Winds Plague Chicago Area

Snow Continues In Northwest Indiana
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Lake Michigan Waves

Waves crash onto the shores of Lake Michigan Monday morning. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED: 12/13/10 10:30 a.m.

HICAGO (CBS) – Only light snow was falling in the immediate Chicago area Monday morning, but the frigid, windy misery continues.

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CBS 2’s Megan Glaros reports as the morning rush began at 5 a.m., it was 12 degrees at Midway Airport and 10 degrees at O’Hare International Airport as of 5 a.m. But the wind chill made it feel as if it were -8 at Midway and -10 at O’Hare.

By 9:25 a.m., the mercury was still at 10 degrees, and light snow was falling downtown.

O’Hare and Midway Airports will be scrambling to catch up Monday after hundreds of flight cancellations because of the storm on Sunday. The Chicago aviation department reported 75 new cancellations at O’Hare Monday morning and just minimal cancellations at Midway. Neither airport reported any significant delays.

Meanwhile, the snow continued in Northwest Indiana, dumping snow at a rate of 1 to 3 inches per hour as winds gusted up to 35 mph. CBS 2’s Don Schwenneker says there have been numerous reports of commuters getting stuck in their cars Monday morning as the snow fell.

U.S. 20 was closed near Valparaiso, and U.S. 30 was blocked near Highway 39.

Snow totals are expected to top out at 20 inches or more in Northwest Indiana when the storm finally moves out later Monday.

In the immediate Chicago area, the violent, icy winds continued to whip early Monday. CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports waves up to 25 feet high were crashing onto Lake Shore Drive, and at one point, three northbound lanes were flooded.

The waves knocked down snow fences, and gave beaches and shoreline facilities a beating.

The easternmost lane of Lake Shore Drive remained closed Monday morning between Oak Street and North Avenue.

At the airports Sunday, more than 1,700 flights were canceled, and travelers were beside themselves.

“I’m stuck here now, until tomorrow morning,” one man said.

“This is the worst flight experience I’ve ever had,” another said.

On Monday at 7:30 a.m., the Dept. of Aviation was reporting just 75 cancellations at O’Hare due to the after effects of Sunday’s weather conditions. No delays are being reported.

At Midway, there are only minor cancellations and no delays.

Also Sunday, the strong winds blew the roof off the Pepsi Skyline Stage at Navy Pier and caused numerous scaffolding issues.

Between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday, the entire roof of the Pepsi Skyline Stage at Navy Pier blew off the structure, Navy Pier spokeswoman Delores Robinson said.

On the North Side, emergency personnel responded to at least two scaffolding issues that were possibly caused by the wind. A scaffolding at 544 W. Dickens Ave. collapsed at 8:46 a.m. Sunday and Lake Shore Drive was closed in both directions between Ontario and Ohio streets at 8:26 a.m. because crews were worried scaffolding would collapse, Near North District police said. Lake Shore Drive was re-opened about 15 minutes later.

Conditions are expected to be sunny as the day goes on Monday, but the overnight low Monday night will drop to 0 degrees or less.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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