CHICAGO — The city could see a foot of snow during Wednesday's blizzard.
It had already started snowing in the southeastern parts of Cook County by Wednesday morning, and the snow is expected to be at its worst in Chicago early this afternoon. The southeastern parts of the city will get between 6 inches and 1 foot of snow, said AccuWeather meteorologist Carl Erickson, while downtown and northwestern neighborhoods will see only 3-6 inches.
Rosie Dabney, a South Shore resident, waited under the viaduct of the Jewel at 1655 E. 95th St. while her husband got their car from the parking lot. She said she has a simple plan for staying warm during the blizzard.
"I'm going to get out of here and go home and warm up and fix myself a bowl of hot soup," Dabney said. "This was my first time out since the weather has been this bad."
Winds are expected to hit between 40 and 50 mph, causing blizzard conditions, according to the National Weather Service. The city was under a winter storm warning, and nearly 1,000 flights from O'Hare and Midway had been canceled by 10:35 a.m.
"If you don't have to travel ... it might be a good idea to just hunker down for a bit," Erickson said.
The snow will be at its heaviest through 8 p.m. Wednesday, Erickson said. The most dangerous part of the storm will start at 3 p.m., when the sun begins to go down and the temperature drops and roads get icy.
Streets and Sanitation was "ramping up" 210 trucks on Wednesday morning, Commissioner Charles Williams said, and there was going to be 300 pieces of equipment on the road by rush hour. The city still had a stockpile of 224,000 tons of salt, Williams said.
"The main thing to keep in mind is the city's prepared whether we have a mild winter or a rough winter," Williams said. "Either way, we're prepared."
The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood warning that was in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday, saying 10- to 14-foot waves were possible.
City officials urged residents to drive cautiously and plan for extra time for travel. The city also encouraged residents and businesses to shovel their sidewalks and corners.
Metra was also preparing for the weather, sending out extra crews to clear away snow adn putting down salt at stations in the areas hardest hit by the storm.
Heavy snow continues use caution!!!! pic.twitter.com/CZfQwlIWwX— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) February 24, 2016
The snowstorm should end by early Thursday, and temperatures in the mid-30s will mean there will be "decent melting" of the snow, Erickson said.
And it will feel like spring again by the weekend, as Saturday and Sunday will have temperatures in the low 50s, Erickson said. There could be more snow after that heading into March.
"Especially for this time of the year, the winter's trying to hang on but yet we're transitioning into spring," Erickson said. "It's not unusual to get these pretty wild swings in temperature.
"Sometimes, some of our biggest snowstorms have been in the month of March."
To keep up with the locations of Wednesday's snow plows, go to www.chicagoshovels.org.
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