chicago snowstorm

City of Chicago Warns of Falling Ice, Flooding Following Snowstorm

Thawing is largely expected to start next week, with highs forecast to be in the 30s each day

A pedestrian navigates a snow-covered sidewalk on February 16, 2021 in Chicago

After this week's harsh winter storm dropped as much as 18 inches of snow across Chicago and the suburbs, the focus has shifted to potential flooding and falling ice, with temperatures slated to warm up.

In a news release Friday afternoon, the city of Chicago encouraged residents to exercise caution and take several preventative measures ahead of thawing, which is expected to mainly start next week.

City officials warn that as ice from rooftops begin to melt, it can pose a serious hazard for pedestrians. Property owners and building managers are asked to cordon off the area underneath and display signs warning of the icy conditions.

Additionally, building managers are encouraged to monitor the impact of snow as well as ice and contact licensed professionals to address concerns.

Chicagoans should be aware that melting snow could cause flooding in their homes, city officials said. Residents are encouraged to take the following preventative steps:

  • Clear the area around downspouts to allow melting snow/ice to flow safely from rooftops
  • Clear drains and sewers of debris and snow to allow drainage for melting
  • Do not dump fats/oils/greases in private drains or public catch basins
  • Avoid running a dishwasher or washing machine during storms or when snow is melting quickly
  • Disconnect downspout connections from the sewer system

To prevent larges snowmelt in the future, city leaders also say it can be helpful to install rain gardens, green landscaping or stormwater trees to help retain rainwater.

While the Chicago area has dealt with arctic-like conditions for the past several days, warmer temperatures aren't too far away.

Saturday will likely be the last extremely cold day, at least for now, as highs are expected to be in the low to mid 20s, according to NBC 5 forecasters.

The much-awaited thaw arrives next week, with the highs expected to be in the 30s each day.

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