White Stuff, Turned Ice Stuff, Going to Wet Stuff

Melting snow likely to bring flooding

Friday, Dec 26, 2008  |  Updated 6:32 PM CDT
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Your Pictures: Winter Wonderland?

Larry Graff

There's a threat of flooding as temperatures rise and accumulated ice and snow begin to melt.

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Watch Some Friday Spinouts

The video tells the story: cars spinning, sliding and slipping across the roads early Friday morning, many ending up in collisions.

After the Rain, Flooding Expected

Rising temperatures are expected to melt the snow and ice that's accumulated in the area over the past few days. With that thaw will come possibly damaging flooding.
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As temperatures rise -- pushing 55 on Saturday -- Chicago's weather menance will turn from snow and ice into water ... lots of water.

Rain is in the forecast for Saturday, as well, so prepare for the rush of water throughout the city and suburbs.

The Chicago area was on the skids Friday morning as a layer of ice covered streets and sidewalks overnight.  Going anywhere in the morning hours was treacherous, but as the day wears on and Ah, but that's another story.

Driving early Friday was an enormous challenge, with spinouts and accidents reported across the area.  The incidents on the roads were too numerous to count, and several roads were shutdown and traffic diverted at the height of the slippery mess.

Illinois State Police said they were getting reports of accidents every five minutes during the morning rush hour.  One officer used the word "insane" to describe driving conditions.

Traffic reports throughout the morning included overturned cars, cars off the road and, on the Dan Ryan Expressway, an eight-car pileup.  

The Chicago Transit Authority's elevated train tracks were also impacted by the ice and morning commutes were longer than expected.
Some CTA trains were more than an hour late. Buses faced the same road and street conditions as did city drivers. CTA spokeswoman Kim Myles said the system's buses were delayed, in part, because garages were surrounded by glassy ice.

Delays of 30 minutes or more were reported on Metra commuter trains.

"We are having some major bus delays this morning because it's so icy around many of the garages that the drivers are having trouble getting the buses off the aprons," Myles said. "And once they get on the streets, they're facing the same problems as the cars and have to go very slowly."

Metra experienced delays during the light morning rush, as well.  The Sun-Times reported that a "pedestrian incident" delayed commuters on the Northwest Side. A person was hit by a train near Edison Park, the Metra Web site said.

The meltdown is expected by mid-day Friday, and getting around will become less dangerous as temperatures climbs. That's when flooding conditions will kick in.  City officials have asked residents to clear debris from sewers on streets near their homes and have suggested that valuables be removed from basements that tend to be in danger of flooding.

For a full Chicago area forecast, visit nbcchicago.com's weather page.

 

 

"We are having some major bus delays this morning because it's so icy around many of the garages that the drivers are having trouble getting the buses off the aprons," Myles said. "And once they get on the streets, they're facing the same problems as the cars and have to go very slowly."

Metra experienced delays during the light morning rush, as well.  The Sun-Times reported that a "pedestrian incident" delayed commuters on the Northwest Side. A person was hit by a train near Edison Park, the Metra Web site said.

The meltdown is expected by mid-day Friday, and getting around will become less dangerous as temperatures climbs. That's when flooding conditions will kick in.  City officials have asked residents to clear debris from sewers on streets near their homes and have suggested that valuables be removed from basements that tend to be in danger of flooding.

For a full Chicago area forecast, visit nbcchicago.com's weather page.

 

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