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updated: 2/2/2011 1:50 PM

Libertyville hotel a haven from storm

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John Shields, a pizza deliveryman from Mundelein, was at the Candlewood Suites Hotel in Libertyville. He works for Bill's Pizza in Mundelein and was delivering pizzas last night. He said he made 19 deliveries Tuesday, the last one at 9 p.m.

"It was so bad you'd be driving on parts of the road that were not lit up and you couldn't see anything. (Route) 45 was a complete whiteout. I've never seen anything like this before," Shields said.

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He said traveling on Route 45 was "a killer, I didn't think I'd make it back." He said the lanes on the roadway were covered with snow.

"The last delivery, I got stuck in a huge drift. It was so deep, I couldn't open door. I kept rocking it back and forth, but it wouldn't move, so I opened the window and climbed out the window ala Dukes of Hazard. It was not pretty when you're as big as me," he said.

Shields was supposed to be back at work at 11, but his car was buried in front of the hotel.

ComEd worker David Ortiz and Mundelein police Officer Peter Ahern also stayed at the hotel Tuesday night.

Ortiz, of Franklin Park, said he just drove to the hotel a half-mile from the ComEd facility where he is working storm restoration. He's supposed to go back to work about 8:30 tonight, so he's hunkering down at the hotel until them.

He said you can't see the lane markings on Route 45, but it's down to where you're not driving though 12 or 16 inches of snow.

Ahern arrived at the hotel after working the

overnight shift. He's also going to stay here until he has to go back on duty tonight. "It's still pretty bad. One lane each way on 45. It was horrible last night. I live in Evanston and almost went off the road a few times."

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