Big freeze with wind chill advisory is arriving as airports, traffic recover from storm
The snow and rain are moving out, and on cue tumultous winds and frigid temperatures are joining forces to create an ice factory in the region.
Gusts of up to 45 mph were forecast for Saturday evening with a low of 3 degrees, and the cold is projected to continue Sunday.
As of 6 p.m. Saturday, nearly 231 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport and 28 at Midway Airport as a result of the storm that blew in Friday and caused the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a ground stop. About 800 flights were canceled Friday at both airports.
The Chicago Department of Aviation Saturday evening is reporting delays of less than 15 minutes at O'Hare and Midway.
"Crews are working diligently and are prepared and equipped to return the airports to normal operations as soon as conditions permit," a Chicago Department of Aviation official said Saturday.
On the roads, slick conditions prevailed and public works departments in the suburbs raced to clear snow before temperatures dropped from the 30s Saturday morning into the 20s in the midafternoon. The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for Kane, McHenry and other counties out west from 9 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday, with wind chills possibly reaching 20 below zero.
Illinois State Police Sgt. Jacqueline Cepeda said authorities were not aware of any fatal crashes statewide as a result of the snowfall. However, multiple fender-benders and spinouts have been reported throughout the suburbs.
"There aren't any specific roads at this time that we are asking drivers to avoid, but we do ask drivers that if they must drive during these conditions, to please drive carefully and responsibly," she said.
"We ask the public to allow extra time for travel, decrease their speed, increase traveling distance between cars and to keep their eyes on the road at all times. We also ask that if they see emergency vehicles, or any vehicle with their lights flashing, to please move over and slow down," Cepeda said.
Air travelers are advised to check with their airlines for delays and allow plenty of time to drive to the airport.