Winter Storm Descends on Chicago

By Katy Moore and Dick Johnson
|  Wednesday, Dec 9, 2009  |  Updated 5:13 AM CDT
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Chicago's Snow in Photos

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Get your shovels ready. Snow's a coming.

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Chicago Preps for First '09 Winter Storm

Temps expected to hit single digits by Thursday.
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The battle against Chicago's first winter storm has begun.

Early this morning, 175 of Chicago's snow fighting trucks hit the streets for duty.

Chicago's first winter storm began Tuesday afternoon and is expected to continue until 3 a.m. Wednesday, moving from southwest to northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm is expected to hit hardest in areas northwest of Chicago, with 8 to 11 inches of accumulation through Wednesday. A winter storm warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for most of northern Illinois.

Snow accumulation for Chicago may reach up to 3 inches, with up to 6 inches in the west and southwest suburbs.

Up to 10 inches may fall north of Rockford and into southeast Wisconsin.

This morning, both O'Hare and Midway reported delays, and the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation had 175 trucks cleaning the streets.

Commuters said the snow delayed their morning drives, but they were prepared for the worst.

"We'll have to do this three or four more times before it's over," said Tom King of Kings Motors in Algonquin, as he cleaned 4 inches of snow off used cars in his lot. "But it's easier to keep up with it this way. Glad it's finally here. That's why we live in the Midwest."

For snowplowers, meanwhile, the inclement weather's a boon.

"I've been out 3 to 4 hours...and will probably work 10 to 12 more," said Juan Garcia, a private snowplow driver in Algonquin.  

Another snowplow driver in Algonquin, Rick Kempe, says he's counting on the overtime. 

"Been out since 7...expect to be out a couple of days...The money's nice to have especially around the holidays," he said.

Check in with NBCChicago for up to the minute weather alerts, traffic alerts, airport delays and school closings related to the coming storm.

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