(CBS) — Snow plows were out in full force Monday evening has a winter storm hit the Chicago area with several inches of snow expected to be on the ground by Tuesday morning.
The snow hit Chicago around 8 p.m. Monday and is expected to continue until Tuesday, tapering off at around 2 a.m. and resulting in between two to four inches of snow in some parts of the Chicago area. Farther south near Kankakee could see up to six inches of snow.READ MORE: Galewood Man Charged With Aggravated Battery In The Stabbing Of CTA Bus Driver
The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation said it is employing its full fleet of more than 280 snow plows and salt spreaders and also will deploy more than 20 of its smaller 4×4 plows.
Temperatures plummeted ahead of the winter storm’s arrival. At 10 p.m., the temperature at O’Hare was only six degrees with a wind chill of zero. Monday’s bitter temperatures were only a preview for later in the week, as Wednesday’s high will be only zero, and the low could hit 10 below.
230 flights were canceled at O’Hare Monday evening with 30 minute delays, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. No flights were canceled at Midway, but flights were being delayed for 45 minutes.
Metra Executive Director Don Orseno says he’s expecting a normal morning rush hour on Tuesday. Metra says there could be some delays just because of additional loading, more folks take the train when it’s very cold.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports cold weather induced mechanical malfunctions were so dire, Metra workers were forced to heat rail switches with open flames to keep them freezing. Workers will work around the clock to keep Tuesday’s trains running, too.
A heating malfunction at Intrinsic School on the Northwest Side also posed problems, forcing staff to relocate students to warmer parts of the charter school. The school announced it would be closed on Tuesday.READ MORE: 2 Men Shot In River North
So how can a Chicagoan cope with the cold? Dress for it. Outdoor outfitter Moosejaw’s general manager Peter Michelich says dressing smart can help anyone survive this snowy, cold snap.
“Keeping yourself dry keeps yourself warm,” said Michelich. “It is very, very important. Manage that moisture if you don’t, you are going to be cold.”
CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports from sacks of salt sweeping off the shelves, to a virtual blowout on snowblowers, people hit the Kin-ko Ace Hardware store in Plainfield hard.
“We’ve already gone through two pallets,” said assistant manager Brian Sotir. “We’ve gone through almost a pallet of the tube sand and we’ve sold about six snowblowers in the last 24 hours already.”
“My driveway is on a slant when I come out, if you’re not careful, you’ll slide right into the road,” said Darius Young. “It’s a high commodity right now.”
So is gear to keep your furnace going strong. Cold houses Monday morning fueling hardware store trips tonight.
“It was about 60 degrees, so I didn’t know if something was going on,” said Ryan Higgins. “My wife just got home and said it was closer to 50 in there now. Hoping that this is gonna be an easy fix.”
Anyone who does have to go outside in such extreme cold should dress in layers, and make sure no skin is exposed to the cold. Hypothermia and frostbite can set in after only a few minutes in such frigid conditions.MORE NEWS: Teammates Of Boy Killed In Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy Honor Him With Baseball Memorial
Those conditions will serve as a reminder for drivers to plan for potentially slick conditions. Police have reminded drivers early on to slow down under such conditions, and give themselves more time to get where they’re going.