City Says It's Prepared for Winter Season

Salt, new cameras, plethora of cell phones all part of preparedness plans

Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011  |  Updated 10:59 PM CDT
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Michael Preston, Getty Images

Cars sit in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive after accidents and drifting snow stranded the drivers during the Feb. 1, 2011 blizzard.

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The chill in the air on Wednesday was just a reminder of what's to come, but the city says it's ready to deal with whatever Mother Nature dishes out this winter.

"The most important communication is that people sign up for AlertChicago, so then they can get the notification that weather is coming in, what to do and what they should probably not do," said Gary Schenkel, the Executive Director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Officials said the city has salt ready to go and there are contingency plans to get more if it's needed.

Four new surveillance cameras have been installed on Lake Shore Drive to allow officials to keep a better eye on conditions and prevent a repeat of last February's incident, and 700 phones will be given to plow drivers to better coordinate snow removal.

The preparations may be wise. Meteorologists earlier this month said "hands down" the Midwest and Great Lakes region will be hit with the nation's worst winter. Weather service Accuweather.com predicts 50 to 58 inches of snow in Chicago, not far off from the 57.9 total we saw during the third largest blizzard on record.

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