CHICAGO — Some parts of Chicago have already gotten 9 inches of snow — and more is on the way.
A snowstorm that started Tuesday night continued into Wednesday afternoon, with parts of the city and south suburbs reporting up to 10 inches of accumulation. A winter storm warning remains in effect for parts of Chicago, the suburbs and Northwest Indiana until 6 p.m.
The city was getting about 1 inch per hour of snow as of 8 a.m., with that heavy snowfall continuing for several hours. The South Side could have about a foot of fresh snowfall by the storm’s end, while the North Side could get up to 6 inches, said Mark Rapzer, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
A second snowstorm that’s expected to hit the area Wednesday night looks like it’ll miss Chicago, Rapzer said.
But it does appear there will be a round of lake effect snow very late Wednesday into Thursday morning, Rapzer said. That could dump another 2-4 inches on the city.
Here’s how the snow is looking across the city:
Here’s how you can keep safe:
- Never use your oven for heat, and don’t bring charcoal or gas grills indoors, according to a Cook County news release.
- Make sure portable heaters are not plugged in when they’re not being used, and use space heaters with “extreme caution,” according to Cook County. They should not be placed near flammable materials and should be turned off before you go to bed.
- Keep heat at “adequate levels,” or let your faucets drip to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, according to Cook County.
- Keep moving so your body can generate its own heat, according to Cook County.
- Wear multiple layers, including a hat and gloves or mittens, according to Cook County.
- If your skin has been exposed to the cold, carefully warm it with a warm, wet washcloth, and see a doctor if your skin is cold, hard or blotchy or if the exposed skin becomes painful, swollen or you get a fever, according to Cook County.
- Frostbite symptoms start as a pins and needles or tingly feeling; your skin may change color, becoming red, white, blue, purple or grayish depending on the severity, according to Cook County.
- Older people or those who are normally inactive should be cautious when they go to shovel snow, according to Cook County.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia, like intense shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness and loss of coordination, according to Cook County. Seek medical care if you are in need.
- Drive “drastically” slower than normal, especially when nearing intersections, ramps, bridges and areas where ice might have formed, according to the Governor’s Office.
- People should plan for trips to take longer than usual, according to Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
- Watch for emergency vehicles and snow plows.
- Make sure your gas tank is full, according to the Governor’s Office.
- Have a cellphone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first-aid kit, washer fluid and an ice scraper in your car in case of emergency. You can call *999 in the Chicago area if you are in an emergency, according to the Governor’s Office.
- Tell someone where you are going and what your route will be if you must drive.
- If your car breaks down or you are in a crash, remain inside your car, according to the Governor’s Office.
- Keep emergency items in your car and not in the trunk in case the trunk jams or freezes, according to Cook County.
Chicago’s warming areas are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday when temperatures are at 32 degrees or below. Residents can call 311 for information about warming centers and for assistance in finding a warm space after-hours.
- Englewood Community Service Center, 1140 W. 79th St. Call 312-747-0200.
- Garfield Community Service Center, 10 S. Kedzie Ave. Call 312-746-5400. (Open 24/7.)
- King Community Service Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave. Call 312-747-2300.
- North Area Community Service Center, 845 W. Wilson Ave. Call 312-744-2580.
- South Chicago Community Service Center, 8650 S. Commercial Ave. Call 312-747-0500.
- Trina Davila Community Service Center, 4312 W. North Ave. Call 312-744-2014.
Click here for more information on Chicago’s warming areas.
There are also warming areas in suburban Cook County. Click here for information on those centers.
Pets And Animals
- Bring pets indoors in a heated space, according to Cook County. An outdoor dog house might not be adequate during extended periods of cold.
- Salt and ice can irritate a pet’s footpads; foot coverings are recommended for pets in need, according to Cook County. If your pet won’t wear foot coverings, avoid salt when outside and wash their paws with warm water once home.
- Limit pets’ outdoor times: Walks should not last longer than 10 minutes in below-zero weather, and you should check their foot pads once home and wash them with warm, but not hot, towels, according to Cook County. Call your veterinarian if you think your pet has frostbite anywhere, including their nose and ears.
- Keep antifreeze away from pets.
- Have an emergency kit that includes supplies for your pet, like food, water and medication, according to Cook County.
- Honk before you start your car in case a wild animal has gone into your engine or another place for warmth, according to Cook County.
- Call officials if a wild animal is in your home.
Emergency Supply Kits
Here’s what you should have in an emergency kit in your car, according to Cook County:
- Windshield scraper and small broom.
- Flashlight with extra batteries. You can reverse the batteries to avoid switching the flashlight on when it’s not in use.
- Battery-powered radio.
- Snack food, including energy bars.
- Matches and small candles.
- Extra hats, socks and mittens.
- First-aid kit with a pocketknife.
- Necessary Medications.
- Blankets or a sleeping bag.
- Tow chain or rope.
- Road salt, sand or cat litter for traction.
- Jumper cables.
- Emergency flares and reflectors.
- Fluorescent distress flag and whistle to get attention.
- Cellphone adapter to plug into lighter.
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