Chicago officials warned commuters ahead of the evening commute Wednesday as a snowstorm brought snow to parts of the city.
By 3:30 p.m., 300 snow plows were deployed to city streets to address snowfall that was expected to continue well into the evening hours.
Commissioner Charles Williams with the Department of Streets and Sanitation said the city is expecting between 1 and 7 inches to fall between 10 a.m. Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday.
More than 200 trucks began plowing and salting city streets by the morning hours Wednesday, Williams said.
“As the storm intensifies, we will intensify our effort as well," Williams said.
Williams urged commuters to drive slowly and monitor conditions.
“Drive for the conditions,” he said. “Slow down, allow enough time to get where you need to go.”
A Winter Storm Warning was issued for the city and several other Chicago-area counties Tuesday afternoon. That warning was later upgraded to a Blizzard Warning for some counties in Illinois and northwest Indiana.
White-out conditions are possible as powerful winds move through, with gusts expected to reach upwards of 55 mph at times, whipping the snow around and reducing visibility to near zero, making all travel dangerous if not nearly impossible at the height of the storm, the NWS warned.
ComEd also said it was closely monitoring and preparing for the potentially severe weather. The company said it increased crew staffing for Wednesday and began readying equipment to respond to any outage reports.
“ComEd has developed a plan and is prepared to have the necessary resources available to respond in the event that there are weather-related issues,” Terence R. Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer for ComEd, said in a statement. “We understand that any time a power outage occurs it is inconvenient. Should there be any impact to our system, we work to get customers restored quickly and safely.”
The winter storm is a developing system, so changes are likely as the track becomes more defined.