The worst of the snowfall was over by late Tuesday evening but flakes are still expected to fly for a couple of days before the weather system completely moves out of the Chicago area.
Snowfall totals ranged from 11 inches reported in Waukegan to 6.5 inches in Woodstock to 4.8 inches at O'Hare International Airport, making it the biggest storm of the season and helping rank February among Chicago's snowiest.
Light snowfall was predicted to continue Wednesday and Thursday, possibly even into Friday afternoon. By the time the storm fully clears, the area could see another 1 to 3 inches. Forecast models showed improved conditions and sunshine for the weekend with seasonably cold temperatures.
Tuesday's storm forced airlines to cancel more than 330 flights at O'Hare International Airport and nearly 170 flights at Midway as it dumped measurable snow, sleet and rain on the area. Travelers were urged to keep in contact with their airlines or to check FlyChicago.com for the most up-to-date flight schedules.
Dozens of schools in the northern suburbs released students early to beat the brunt of the storm. Chicago Public Schools canceled all after school activities because of the storm.
The storm developed during the second half of the day, first producing snow mixed with sleet and rain and then changing to snow in time for the after-work commute.
The Illinois Tollway mobilized its full fleet of 182 snowplows beginning late Tuesday and into Wednesday.
Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed a fleet of 284 plows onto city streets at by 2 p.m. Twelve extra trucks were deployed to the far south side to ensure residents could access polling places for the special election.
"I have a great staff," replied Commissioner Charles Williams when asked who requested the additional resources.
By 10 p.m., department officials said the plows were being redeployed onto residential streets.
Meanwhile seasonable temperatures remained between 32 and 36 degrees with winds gusting to 35 mph. That meant salt was fairly effective on the roadways, leaving most of them slush-covered.
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