Photo by Keely Drukala
An early winter storm that made Chicago’s suburbs feel “Christmasy,” in the words of CBS News 2, has complicated travel around, into, and out of the city, causing numerous accidents and resulting in a brief closure and canceled flights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
By early evening 6.3 inches of snow had fallen in parts of Chicago with as much as eight inches expected.
Heavy, wet snow, as much as one inch per hour at times, fell throughout Tuesday in Chicago and the surrounding area, causing many adults to break out their snow shovels and kids their sleds, for the first time this winter.
The snow, however, was no fun for travelers. Chicago’s NBC 5 reported that heavy snow and high winds made driving conditions hazardous, resulting in dozens of accidents across the city. Some accidents reported by NBC 5, included:
A crash on the Veteran’s Memorial Tollway in Will County has blocked one lane of the roadway near 143rd and Archer Avenue, while another crash on the Jane Addams Tollway in Kane County has also led to a lane closure and reports of injuries.
The Tri-State Tollway is also reporting lane closures near the Hinsdale Oasis because of a crash, while Interstate 55 is seeing multiple crashes in Will County as snow and rain continue to fall.
In DeKalb County, a crash led to a vehicle rolling into a flooded ditch according to Total Traffic, leading firefighters scrambling to rescue a person trapped in the vehicle.
The storm also disrupted flights out of and into Chicago, with NBC 5 reporting that the storm lead to a brief shutdown of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the U.S.’s fourth busiest airport.
“Officials say the ground stop went into effect at 3:09 p.m. as a winter storm continues to hammer the Chicago area, with rain, snow and ice falling across the region,” reported NBC 5. By 4:40 pm on January 10, more than 170 flights had already been cancelled and more cancellations were expected. Hundreds of other flights were delayed, often significantly.
Although the snow ground stoppage was lifted by 5:00 pm, the FAA warned that due to the ongoing harsh winter weather, fliers should expect “significant delays … because of excessive snow and ice.”