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Snow Plows Move To Side Streets

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Snow Plow

A Chicago city snow plow during the Blizzard of 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 02/03/11 5:06 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – With main roads now clear and passable throughout Chicago, snow plows are working to clear the side streets.

Mayor’s chief of staff Raymond Orozco said crews turned their attention to side streets around midnight.

They still have equipment on the major roads to maintain safe road conditions, but most of the focus has been diverted to the neighorhoods, “just eight hours after the storm ended.”

There are 3,300 miles of side streets in the city, so clearing all the side streets will take a long time. As of Thursday afternoon, many side streets still hadn’t been plowed.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bernie Tafoya reports


On Wednesday afternoon after the blizzard had stopped, many side streets remained nearly impassable, and cars parked along the streets were often buried completely in snow.

Meanwhile Thursday, city crews were out with hand-held shovels and heavy machinery, trying to clear other important places for motorists, pedestrians and mass transit riders.

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports at the corner of Taylor and Carpenter streets on the city’s Near West Side, a front-end loader scooped up thousands of pounds of snow and dumped it into a semi-truck that carted it away.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bernie Tafoya reports


The rest of the snow was deposited on a parkway off the street.

A Chicago Department of Water Management worker said his team’s job was to clear snow from bus stops, fire hydrants, and the edges of side streets where they meet main streets. These were the spots where snow mounds developed when the city plowed the main streets.

He let the front-end loader do most of the work, but he finished it up with a shovel.

“A lot of stuff turned to ice last night, from the cold weather, so it’s kind of easier on our backs with the heavy machinery,” he said.

The blizzard on Tuesday and Wednesday officially dumped 20.2 inches of snow on Chicago, making it the third largest snowfall in the city’s history. It is outranked only by 1967, when 23 inches fell, and 1999, when 21.6 inches fell.

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