Winter Snowstorm Hits Chicago Area, Snarling Roads and Closing Schools

A winter snowstorm continued to batter the Chicago area early Monday, closing schools, canceling flights and snarling road conditions after the holiday weekend.

A Blizzard Warning was in effect overnight, ending around 6 a.m. for several area counties, including DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Lake and McHenry counties in Illinois, as well as Kenosha County in Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service.

Cook, DuPage, Grundy and Will counties remained under a Winter Storm Warning through 9 a.m., with Cook, plus Lake County, Indiana, under Lakeshore Flood Warnings through 12 p.m. as well.

Snowfall totals reached nearly a foot in some areas, particularly the far northwestern counties. Dozens of districts canceled school across the area, largely in the suburbs. For a full list of school closings, click here.

That heavy snowfall overnight made for treacherous road conditions ahead of the morning commute. The Bishop Ford Expressway was temporarily closed after a power line fell onto the road, Chicago fire officials said. While it reopened a short time later, travel conditions areawide remained hazardous with slick roads, high winds and low visibility.

Illinois State Police urged motorists to limit travel during the storm and to bring supplies like a cell phone, food, water, warm clothing, and blankets in case of an emergency.

Train commuters were asked to allow for extra time in their commute as well, Metra said in a statement Sunday night. While Metra planned to operate on a normal weekday schedule, passengers were asked to allow extra travel time and use caution on boarding platforms and near the tracks.

The storm also caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights at Chicago's airports during one of the busiest travel times of the year, with at least 411 flights canceled at O'Hare International Airport and 68 flights canceled at Midway Airport.

The heavy snowfall also left thousands of people without power overnight. More than 68,000 people were without electricity in Cook County alone as of Monday morning, according to ComEd, with another 26,000 impacted in DuPage.

The storm was expected to ease by Monday morning, leaving several inches of accumulation in its wake. Morning clouds will break for partial sun, though conditions will remain windy and colder with highs in the low 30s. 

Lake Effect snow snowers also remained possible in the Michiana snow belts. 

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