CHICAGO (CBS)– Strong winds, a wintry mix that later gave way to snow, and storm surge on Lake Michigan caused a variety of problems in the Chicago area on Saturday.
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Snow has begun to die down in the Chicago area, with only very light snow remaining in the Loop. A drying trend is expected to begin after midnight Sunday morning.
As it stood as of 9:35 p.m., the National Weather Service still had a Winter Weather Advisory in place for most of the area and a Winter Storm Warning for McHenry and DeKalb counties and parts north and west until 3 a.m.
A Lakeshore Flood Warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. Sunday.
There are reports that a McHenry County Department of Transportation plow truck got sideswiped along Pyott Road near Lake in the Hills. The other vehicle involved went into a ditch, witnesses said.
This was one of many accidents blamed on the storm Saturday. In McHenry County alone, officers responded to several crashes.
A McHenry County dispatcher on Saturday evening described conditions as “snotty.” The dispatcher said there had been numerous accidents and spinouts with some cars in ditches, but no major injuries.
And earlier in the day on the Borman Expressway (I-80/94) in Portage, Indiana, at least two cars collided and blocked several lanes. Ambulances were dispatched, but it was not clear how badly the victims were hurt.
ComEd confirms that an electrical pole went through a home at 28th Street and Lowe Avenue in the Bridgeport neighborhood.
Crews were on the screen trying to remove the pole safely, and said they hope to have it done early Saturday evening. It was not clear whether power in that area would be restored.
A ComEd representative said there were no known injuries.
ComEd reports the total number of customers without power has been reduced from 4,769 at 3 p.m. to 3,551 at 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways has closed Will Cook Road between 151st and 159th streets due to standing water.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reports South Shore Drive has reopened – thanks to a lot of efforts to drain the road and other flooded roads with lake water. Afterward, there were efforts to keep the water from coming back in with sand bags along the side of the street.
Meanwhile, average delays at O’Hare International Airport stand at 21 minutes, with 1,144 total cancellations. The average delays at Midway International Airport were less than 15 minutes, with 88 total cancellations.
As of 4 p.m., snow was headed through western Illinois from Missouri – and was expected to move into the Chicago area as sunset came around.
Snowfall totals were expected to be moderate – but depending on where the snow bands settle, accumulation could come at a rate of 1 inch per hour, CBS 2 Meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist reported.
Altogether, accumulating snow of two to four inches is expected Saturday afternoon and evening for most of the city. High amounts approaching six to seven inches along the Wisconsin state line.
ComEd reports there are nearly 4,800 customers without power. As of 3 p.m., ComEd reported 282 active outages affecting 4,769 customers.
ComEd warned that as the wintry mix continued to move into the area with strong winds gusting up to 40 mph, there were a number of dangers to the power system.
If a storm has caused a tree or limb to fall on electrical wires, please call (800) 334-7661 to report immediately to ComEd. Tree crews will come out on the spot.
South Shore Drive between 67th and 71st streets remains closed amid the high waves, according to the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication.
All lanes on northbound Lake Shore Drive were open as of 3 p.m. The far right lane between Oak Street and North Avenue had been closed earlier.
Twitter user Craig Shimala tweeted a video showing waves crashing up onto the lakefront trail and even breaching the North Avenue Beach Chess Pavilion.
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DON'T RISK GETTING TOO CLOSE!
If you get pulled in, it could be deadly. And cold water temperatures will lead to hypothermia quickly.
I really hope we don't have any "looky-loos" that go missing today. STAY SAFE! https://t.co/gMO8uuTYq6
— Robb Ellis (@WxRobb) January 11, 2020
CBS 2 Meterologist Robb Ellis emphasized that everyone should keep their distance from dangerous waves.
“If you get pulled in, it could be deadly. And cold water temperatures will lead to hypothermia quickly. I really hope we don’t have any ‘looky-loos’ that go missing today,” Ellis tweeted. “STAY SAFE!”
Evanston police likewise reminded people to use caution going near the lakefront, especially as daylight starts to fade.
#LakeMichigan is drawing a lot of curious residents. Please be careful if you are going down by the lakefront, especially as daylight starts to fade. You wouldn’t want EPD and @EvanstonFD to come save you, we will but you wouldn’t want us to have to. Video location 800 Sheridan. pic.twitter.com/jSHrDMI2Dw
— Evanston, IL Police (@EvanstonPD) January 11, 2020
City of Aurora announces plans to deploy the full Aurora Snow Team to cover 36 routes to help with snowfall. The snow team will be deployed at 3 p.m.
Evanston police are warning drivers of high waves and dangerous conditions along Sheridan Road and the Calvary Cemetery. Winds are causing high waves.
Drive carefully along Sheridan Rd/Calvary Cemetery in #Evanston. The winds are causing water from #LakeMichigan to come onto the roadway. @EvanstonPW is working on the issue. Find alternate route. @WBBM780Traffic @WGNtraffic @TotalTrafficCHI pic.twitter.com/gQPRksdcl8
— Evanston, IL Police (@EvanstonPD) January 11, 2020
Areas along Lake Shore and South Shore drives are closing due to high waves caused by winter storm winds. South Shore Drive is closed from 67th to 71st streets due to high water, according to Chicago Office-Emergency Management.
Check out those WAVES!! This looks more like an ocean than it does a lake 🌊🌊
Be advised: South Shore Drive is flooded and closed from 67th to 71st
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) January 11, 2020
OEMC is warning of flooding on Lake Shore Drive due to high waves.
NotifyChicago: The far right lane on NB Lake Shore Dr from 1000 to 1600 N is closed due to High Wave Activity. Seek an alternate route..
— Chicago OEMC (@ChicagoOEMC) January 11, 2020
Strong winds caused a street light at Cicero and Diversey avenues to tip, according to CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas.
— Tim McNicholas (@TimMcNicholas) January 11, 2020
Viewer Christopher Jobson shared a video of high waves at Pratt Beach in Rogers Park. He told CBS 2 there is damage to the shoreline, with is completely under water.
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Unquestionably the worst flooding I've ever seen in Chicago @ Pratt Beach right now. This is sidewalks, the volleyball area, dunes, and shoreline completely covered in deep water. The damage to the shoreline will be awful. Global warming is real folks, even in the midwest. pic.twitter.com/Al2NZdqiof
— Christopher Jobson (@christopherjobs) January 11, 2020
Flooding was also seen all along the beaches elsewhere in Rogers Park.