One fatality in suburbs linked to snowfall
Snow came down steadily Thursday night and throughout Friday, but it didn't lead to the wintry nightmare many folks in the Chicago area feared.
The amount of snow that came down varied through the suburbs, but for the most part it was significantly less than the foot or so some meteorologists expected for parts of the region.
The Aurora area may have gotten the worst of it, with 10 inches reported in a few spots there, according to the National Weather Service. O'Hare reported 7.3 inches, Buffalo Grove reported about 6 inches, and Carol Stream reported 6.5 inches.
More snow was expected to fall Friday night into Saturday, perhaps up to 2 inches in the Chicago area. Even more will come Saturday night into Sunday, with predictions in the 2- to 3-inch range.
O'Hare International Airport reported 960 canceled flights with average delays of 57 minutes Friday. At Midway, arrivals and departures were averaging 15 minute delays, and there were 315 cancellations.
No significant delays were reported on the Metra rail system, though some trains were up to 20 minutes behind schedule Friday morning.
Metra rider Steven Baldasti had an uneventful trip on the Union Pacific Northwest Line into Chicago from Palatine.
"The express (train) that blasts by about 6:39 a.m. was on time, and my usual (train), the 6:49 a.m., was on time," Baldasti said.
Many suburban roadways were snow-covered for much of the day, but overall conditions weren't as bad as predicted. That was good news for drivers, many of whom experienced little congestion on their drives Friday.
"(It) definitely appears that people either stayed home or relied on public transportation," Illinois Department of Transporation spokesman Guy Tridgell said.
Additionally, traffic volume generally is lighter when schools close because of poor weather, as was the case Friday, Tridgell said.
The milder-than-expected storm was good news for snowplow drivers, too.
Schaumburg's plow crews had been on the roads since 5 p.m. Thursday and were on their third shift by late Friday morning. The plows will stay ready for the slightest new snowfall through at least Monday morning, Engineering and Public Works Director Dave Lawry said.
Lincolnshire's public works crews started plowing in 13 trucks at midnight Thursday and worked until about 8:30 a.m. Friday before taking a break, Village Manager Brad Burke said. They resumed midday and continued throughout the day.
A substantially smaller crew is expected to be on the job Saturday morning, and another crew will be available Sunday if needed, Burke said.
There were some storm-related disruptions.
Many suburban libraries stayed closed, including facilities in Barrington, Elgin, Grayslake, Huntley, Lincolnshire, Naperville and Schaumburg. And, some opted to open later than usual, such as the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich.
The DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry County courthouses were open for business. But Cook County courts were closed, as were the federal courthouses in Chicago and Rockford.
Some suburban businesses also were affected, including the Lovin Oven Cakery in Libertyville.
"We had a bunch of people call yesterday and reschedule their orders for later in the weekend," manager Shelby Hoss said.
Wauconda's Bulldogs Grill didn't have many lunch customers.
"(We had) a lot of to-go orders," General Manager Tony Vazquez said. "(It's) just a slow day."
The popular White Fence Farm restaurant in Romeoville stayed closed Friday, as did its carryout locations in Downers Grove, Riverside, Romeoville, Joliet and Plainfield.
• Daily Herald staff writers Eric Peterson, Christopher Placek, Marni Pyke, Susan Sarkauskas, Marie Wilson and Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.