Blizzard conditions continue through the area, and Chicago snow total predictions have increased to more than 14-24 inches before the blizzard watch ends at 3 p.m.
The National Weather Service calls the storm "crippling and potentially killer," saying conditions will persist through the morning and winds are still exceeding 50 mph, making it potentially dangerous for people to leave their homes.
The storm is expected to gradually shift into northwest Indiana by late morning to the afternoon. Snowfall should end over north-central Illinois early this morning and over northeast Illinois by late afternoon.
A wind chill is in effect tonight through Thursday morning. Overnight, bitter temperatures could dip as low as 5 below zero downtown and 20 below in the suburbs.
Throughout the city, people are feeling the effects of hazardous conditions. More than 69,000 ComEd customers are still without power, 44,000 of them in the Chicago area.
Cars are still stranded on Lakeshore Drive after commuters were stuck there for hours last night. It is unknown if the road will be reopened in coming hours. In Lake, Kane and Will Counties, all roads remain closed. Other closed strips include: I-80 west of Morris, I-88 west of Rock Falls and all of I-39. Above-ground Kimball stops on the Brown Line also are closed.
The National Weather Service warns that drifting snow will make shoveling very difficult. In 1999, more than 40 people died of heart attacks while shoveling, according to the NWS.