Where Does All the Snow Go?

Chicago, municipalities using trucks, melters to deal with deluge

By Jaime Elich
|  Thursday, Feb 3, 2011  |  Updated 9:37 PM CDT
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The giant piles of snow are everywhere, blocking sidewalks, street corners and cars, but there's only so much room.

The giant piles of snow are everywhere, blocking sidewalks, street corners and cars, but there's only so much room.

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So much snow, so few places to put it.

Officials are scrambling to find dumping sites for the more than 20 inches of snow that fell in and around Chicago during this week's blizzard.

Many municipalities haul the snow away.  Parking lots seem to be a popular landing place, like in Joliet where the snow is trucked from downtown to out-of-the-way parking lots.

The town of Elmhurst ships its snow to the Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Quarry.

As for the Illinois Department of Transportation, they tuck the white stuff under the Kennedy and Dan Ryan Expressways.Officials say once the snow is shipped, it stays there until it melts in the Spring.

But with temperatures below freezing, it does not seem likely that the snow will melt any time soon.  The city is then forced to bring in high-powered snow melters that are capable of clearing 100 tons of snow per hour.

At a press conference today, Mayor Daley said that "the big thing is that you put them in locations where you have to get rid of the snow as quickly as possible."

You can expect to see the snow around for some time though, because the job is big and the resources are limited.

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