Chicago And The Big Snow: Lots Of Digging, Delays And A Bit Of Fun

CHICAGO (CBS) — The biggest snowfall of the season swept into Chicago, dumping more than eight inches in some places, causing multiple delays and accidents and giving most kids a day of play.

While the snow eased up by mid-afternoon for most towns, a narrow band continued to hit areas between Interstates 88 and 80, dropping an inch per hour. Those areas could see over a foot of snow by the evening.

At the airports, 999 flights were canceled at O’Hare, with 315 canceled at Midway.

And a few more inches are expected on Saturday and Sunday.

Many side streets in Chicago had not been plowed as of 3 p.m., but residents gave the city high marks for keeping the main roads clear.

It was a familiar routine, scrape, shovel, salt and repeat.

“It was pretty heavy, but I guess maybe not as bad as I thought it was,” said Omar Barraza, a member of a snow removal crew. “I thought it was going to be worse maybe.”

With 300-plus plows deployed in Chicago, most main streets were free and clear, but side streets were an ordeal. and service for them will have to wait until the snow breaks.

In fact, an earlier model had the area getting as much as 12 to 15 inches. Most places saw six to eight. Officially, at O’Hare, as of 1 p.m., 7.8 inches had fallen. In Aurora, there were 10 inches on the ground as of 2 p.m.

In Northbrook, about eight inches of snow had fallen by noon. Vince Gerasole found a resident doing battle with Mother Nature.

While the snow may have been a hassle for some, it meant plenty of fun for kids–and plenty of profits for others paid to clean up the mess.

Just about every school kid had the day off and many were out en masse on local sledding hills.

The roads were a challenge all day. On the Dan Ryan a couple of cars ended up in a snow bank and had to be pulled out by IDOT crews. It was a familiar scene elsewhere on the area roadways.

At the airports, hundreds of flights were canceled as travelers scrambled to make alternate plans.

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