Updated 2/23/11 10:19 p.m.

CHICAGO (STMW) – A mixture of rain and sleet are expected to continue throughout the Chicago area Wednesday night, and a winter storm watch was issued for areas further south.

A mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet is expected to hit the Chicago area by 9 p.m. and continue until 3 a.m., according to the National Weather Service’s website. Little or no ice accumulation is expected, but about a half-inch of sleet is possible.

Earlier this evening, 50 snow trucks were sent onto main routes and Lake Shore Drive to monitor bridge decks and overpasses, according to a release from the city’s Department of Streets & Sanitation

At 7:15 p.m., that number was increased to 174 trucks, which continued to patrol main roads and Lake Shore Drive as of 8:45 p.m., the release said.

A winter storm watch is in effect from Thursday night through Friday morning for southern Kankakee and portions of northwest Indiana, where three to six inches of snow accumulation are possible.

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