Snow, Icy Roads Cause Multiple Crashes
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Updated 1/2/11 – 11:06 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – A coating of light snow made the roads a mess early Monday morning.
As CBS 2′s Roseanne Tellez reports, on Lake Shore Drive, at least ten vehicles were involved in a pileup near Randolph Street in the southbound lanes. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt.
While city officials said they was on alert all weekend, Monday morning’s snow arrived fast and furious, catching many drivers off guard.
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Some of the cars involved in the pileup on Lake Shore Drive were directed to Monroe Street while city snow fighting trucks laid down salt and plowed away snow.
“I was coming around the curve on Lake Shore, going south and there was three cars stopped and, you know, before you know it, 10 cars,” a Naperville woman said of the crash, while she was headed to work.
The woman said conditions on Lake Shore Drive changed rapidly.
“In a matter of minutes, it was, you know, snowing like this,” she said. “Now the ground’s completely covered, it was barely covered when I started driving.”
Two people were taken to the hospital with neck injuries, according to police.
Some of the vehicles involved had minor scrapes and were driven away. One van had axle damage, another car had its grille smashed in.
Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne said, “We were very concerned about this all weekend. You know, we worked it all weekend, we got very little sleep in regards to up here and phone calls and polling all weekend.”
As CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros reports, the snow was tapering off for most of the Chicago area late Monday morning.
Accumulation should stay below half an inch for most of the area, except northwest Indiana, where a winter storm warning was in effect through Tuesday because of lake effect snow, which could produce 5 to 15 inches of snow in Porter County and other areas to the east, depending on where the thickest bands of snow end up falling.
Byrne said after the first reports of snow came in, it took 45 minutes to mobilize salt trucks, putting the first trucks on the road around 5 a.m.
“As soon as we got the storm warning, we acted on it. But obviously, it came very, very quickly,” he said.
Byrne said, to his knowledge, the only major problem in the city was the series of crashes on Lake Shore Drive. He acknowledged it would have much worse had this been an ordinary work day.
Even so, he warned drivers who may be out of practice this year that roads are snowy and slick.
“Just be very, very careful when you come out this morning,” Byrne said.
City officials said main roads were all salted by late Monday morning and crews were out tackling side streets.
Snow and ice also caused about 25 crashes on Cook County expressways early Monday morning, according to Illinois State Police, many of them at stop lights on highway entrance ramps.