WEST LOOP — The mayor threw up his hands at Mother Nature Wednesday, but still announced plans to fight flooding and potholes.
"If Mother Nature is listening after this winter — enough already," Emanuel said at a West Loop news conference. "You're trying our patience. You win. Stop it already. No more."
The mayor quickly added details on his plans to deal with expected flooding this weekend and the rampant potholes throughout the city. He said he had ordered Water Management Commissioner Thomas Powers to put more crews on the street.
Before that, Emanuel joked, "Last night, I called Commissioner Powers. I recommended he see the movie 'Noah' and come back with a plan."
The mayor said he expected changes made in the North Branch of the Chicago River to ease flooding in the hard-hit Albany Park area.
"We have the fifth-most amount of snow," Emanuel said. "When it warms up, you're gonna have flooding. That's just a force of nature."
The mayor added the city would confront whatever challenges nature presented.
He pointed to more than 150,000 potholes already repaired citywide and said the city was working on an "expanded pavement and pothole program" to pave 300 miles of streets this year to cover pothole problems.
"If you look at recently repaved streets, they have less potholes," Emanuel said.
The mayor added that, as with salt to deal with snow, the city would meet whatever challenges it faced regardless of cost, saying, "Our roads are gonna be paved, plowed and passable, and we're all gonna do it with a balanced budget.
"Whatever Mother Nature throws at us, we're gonna make sure the residents of the City of Chicago have what they need so they can drive to work, take public transportation," Emanuel said. "We will not come to a standstill."
The mayor made the remarks at a news conference announcing that the Federal Savings Bank would be moving its national headquarters to Chicago from Kansas.