CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago could see the first snow flurries of the season this weekend, and city officials said they expect a lot more snow than usual this winter, but they said they’re ready for the extra work.
Temperatures reached the 70s on Thursday and the 60s on Friday, but it will get much cooler this weekend, with highs in the low 40s on Saturday and Sunday, and lows in the upper 20s Saturday night.
Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams said the city is expecting a colder and snowier winter this year than last.
“It is payback from last year,” he said.
Williams said weather forecasters seem to think Chicago will get 43 to 50 inches of snow this winter, compared to a normal winter which would be about 36 inches.
Williams said his team has been preparing for the winter since spring; training snow plow drivers, doing maintenance on snow equipment, and receiving shipments of road salt.
The city has 374,000 tons of salt ready to go, when last year it only needed to use 110,000 tons, according to Williams.
Chicagoans can always follow the real-time progress of the city’s 300+ pieces of snow equipment by going online to ChicagoShovels.org.
Rich Guidace, first deputy director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, said everyone can do his or her part when winter weather gets bad.
“Be a good neighbor, and help out those in need of clearing sidewalks and checking on the elderly or those with disabilities,” he said
Department of Family and Support Services deputy commissioner Joel Mitchell said help when it’s cold or for well-being checks is a phone call away.
“The easiest way to receive our assistance is to call 311 at any time of day or night if you need to warm up, secure shelter for the evening, or arrange transportation to a warming center or shelter,” he said.
And remember, the winter overnight parking ban goes into effect on 107 miles of major streets on Thursday, Dec. 1, whether there’s snow or not. The ban starts each morning at 3 a.m. and runs through 7 a.m., regardless of whether there is any snow on the ground. For a map of streets with the winter overnight parking ban, click here.