Chicago crews are being forced to bring in heavy equipment to "relocate" snow as the city works to dig out from a massive storm that dumped more than a foot and a half on already snow-covered areas.
"We're working on relocating the snow. This is not the kind of snow that's just going to melt so we've designated some areas so that we can start relocating it with some heavy equipment," said Department of Streets and Sanitation Commissioner John Tully.
Tully said as crews begin to shift from clearing main roadways to plowing side streets, many will bring in heavy equipment like high lifts, backhoes and semis, which will then "haul out some of that snow."
Chicago has pre-determined locations around the city for where snow will be relocated in heavy storms, Tully said, noting that one of the larger locations is in a lot near Guaranteed Rate Field.
Tully asked that businesses not put shoveled snow on already-plowed streets, saying it makes the city's clean-up process take longer.
"When we're cleaning the streets and snow gets pushed back out there and just makes this process longer, so we're asking for a little cooperation," he said.
Instead, he asked that businesses use parking spaces for snow piles.
"We know this is a big ask with so much snow out there," he said.
City crews have been working overtime for days as they work to clear streets after several rounds of snow - and with additional accumulation still possible, they plan on continuing their extra efforts well into the weekend, officials said.
As of Tuesday, the city has seen nine straight days of measurable snowfall recorded at O'Hare Airport.
That ties the record for consecutive days with measurable snow in the city, which was set between Feb. 3-11 in 2018, according to the National Weather Service.
Chicago has seen as much snow as it typically sees in an entire winter season in the last few weeks alone.
The city on average sees about 36 inches of snow in a winter, but in the past 22 days, 36.2 inches of snowfall has been recorded.
As of Tuesday, 18” of snow had fallen in Chicago this month alone, well above the city's average for the month of February.