Snowpocalypse Sparks Chico-Emanuel Shoveling Match

The Snowpocalypse hasn’t shut down the mayoral campaign.

In fact, it's emboldened some.

Gery Chico and Rahm Emanuel competed in a snow clearing competition of sorts.

Chico has been out on the streets of Chicago clearing snow drifts and helping folks in need by pushing stalled cars and offering warmth.

Chico released of video of himself helping push a car out a snowbank, and will be leading a team of shovelers at 2201 N. Maplewood in Logan Square, starting at noon.

Not to be outdone, Rahm Emanuel hit the streets of Roscoe Village to clear snow as well.

Every Northern mayor wants to emulate the heroics of Newark’s Cory Booker, who was out until 3 a.m. clearing snow after a December blizzard.

Chico criticized the city’s handling of the crisis on Lake Shore Drive, which was shut down at 8 p.m. Tuesday night, after commuters endured hours-long trips, and even abandoned their cars.

“You can’t predict everything, you can only plan for things that are forseeable,” Chico said, according the Tribune. “The question is, what plan was in place and should we have closed (LSD) earlier? I don't think the response plan was good.” 

Rahm Emanuel didn’t participate in a debate at the Union League Club -- where Chico, del Valle and Moseley Braun all spoke before an audience of 60 people -- but he was scheduled to appear at tonight’s Chicago Defender debate.

That debate has been canceled, and will likely take place next week. No worries for Emanuel, though. Snowbound voters will see his TV ads all day.

Emanuel sent out an e-mail to supporters advising them to call 311 if they became trapped indoors, not to shovel snow onto fire hydrants, and to “wear several layers of warm, dry clothing. Keep your extremities covered. Wear hats, gloves, winter boots, and warm socks.”

Before the storm hit, on Tuesday, del Valle toured A Safe Haven, a West Side social service agency, to raise awareness of homeless caught in the blizzard.

“On this cold, harsh day in the city of Chicago, we must think of the thousands of individuals that are out there--some numbers indicate that there are as many as 89,000 or 90,000 individuals are homeless in the City of Chicago,” del Valle said.

Del Valle tweeted this morning that his phone bankers are calling “thousands of Chicagoans” -- and probably finding most at home.

The Tribune’s John Kass surveyed the mayoral candidates on whether they’ll uphold the Chicago tradition of Dibs. The three who responded -- Chico, del Valle and Emanuel -- all endorsed marking out a shoveled space with old bar stools.

The big difference between this snowstorm and the last big Chicago blizzard, in February 1979? We can’t punish the mayor for failing to clear the streets. Michael Bilandic couldn’t get rid of the snow, and lost to Jane Byrne a few weeks later. Mayor Daley doesn’t have to worry about that. Maybe he retired because he saw this coming.

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