Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation on Wednesday morning deployed 650 pieces of snow-fighting equipment following a Super Bowl Sunday storm that dropped more than 19 inches of snow and a Tuesday evening encore that dumped another inch on the city.
Some of the heavy equipment that's deployed -- high-lifts, front-end loaders, backhoes and dumps -- is not owned by the city and was instead rented to help get the job done.
Throughout the city, many residents said they expect snow during the winter in Chicago but also expect the city to do a more expeditious job cleaning it up. While city crews have received praise for managing snowfall on the city's main thoroughfares, including Lake Shore Drive, that praise has been lacking for the snow-plowing efforts on many residential streets.
"I understand their frustration," said Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams. "We ask that [residents] understand there was 19 inches of snow, the fifth worst blizzard in Chicago’s history. Be patient with us, we will clear your street."
Also helping to tackle the snow on Wednesday will be employees from the departments of Transportation and Water Management. They'll help dig out around schools, parks, bus stops, fire stations, hydrants, and police stations, according to Streets and Sanitation spokeswoman Molly Poppe.
Sunday was the snowiest February 1 Chicago has ever seen, and the storm dropped enough snow to rank it as the fifth largest snow event in city history.