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The Big Melt Is Coming, Chicago: How To Prevent Flooding As Sunshine, Warmer Temperatures Finally Arrive

The week will be sunny — and it could even hit the 40s on Tuesday.

Residents of the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago brave the recent snowfall on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
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CHICAGO — The city is warming up after weeks of below-freezing cold and heavy snow. It could even hit the 40s Tuesday.

Monday will be mostly cloudy and breezy, with wind gusts up to 30 mph and an expected high temperature of 37 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Tuesday will be the warmest day this week, with an expected high temperature of 42 degrees in the city, according to the weather agency. It will be breezy, with wind gusts up to 25 mph.

Tuesday will also be mostly sunny, setting off a spell of sun-filled days after weeks of gray, cloudy skies.

Wednesday will remain mostly sunny, and it could get as warm as 38 degrees. There could be wind gusts up to 20 mph.

Thursday will be mostly sunny with a high near 34 degrees, according to the weather agency. Friday will remain mostly sunny, with the day warming up to 36 degrees.

There will be a chance of snow Friday night, but Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny again with a high near 40 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Sunday will also get as warm as 40 degrees and it will be partly sunny, though there will be a chance for rain.

On Friday, the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications warned warmer weather could melt snow — which Chicago’s had more than 19 inches of this month — and create dangerous issues with flooding and falling ice.

Preventing Flooding

It’s possible homes could be flooded, according to the city.

Here are the city’s tips for preventing flooding in homes:

  • Clear areas around downspouts to allow melting snow and ice to flow.
  • Clear drains and sewers of debris and snows so melting snow and ice can drain.
  • Do not dump fats, oils or greases in private drains or public catch basins.
  • Avoid running a dishwasher or washing machine during storms or when snow is melting quickly.
  • Disconnect downspouts connections from the sewer system. Direct flow to areas with permeable surfaces that can absorb the stormwater or use rain barrels to collect the water from the downspouts.
  • In the future, install rain gardens, green landscaping or stormwater trees to retain rainwater. Resurface driveways, parking pads and patios with permeable pavement.

Driving With Flooded Streets

Travelers who see flooded roads should turn around and not try to go through the water, according to a city news release. Just 6 inches of water can damage a car and cause it to stall, and the water can hide debris and dips that can cause damage to cars.

Snow And Ice On Buildings

Residents concerned about snow and ice on their buildings should contact licensed professionals to determine what — if anything — needs to be done, according to the city.

Snow and ice buildup on roofs has collapsed several buildings around the city.

Property owners and building managers should cordon areas underneath ice buildup and put up caution signs to warn passersby of the potential for falling ice, according to the city. Falling ice can be deadly.

And residents should clear snow from front and back porches and decks, as the added weight can compromise them, according to the city.

Removing Snow

Residents and businesses should continue to clear snow from sidewalks in front of homes and businesses and treat the sidewalks with salt, according to the city. People should not move snow into bike lanes, crosswalks or bus stops.

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