FOX 32 NEWS - For commuters heading home Friday night, "TGIF" didn't have the usual sense of relief and joy for their spirits because of the snow and slush on the roads.
“Horrible, slick, wet, icy, really bad,” is how Violet Smith described the roads as she was driving home from Lake Zurich to Zion.
It was definitely a night to stay off the roads, unless of course you were a snow plow operator and then other drivers were hoping you would stay on the street all night laying down plenty of salt, clearing the way for others to travel a bit more safely
“It's gonna be a long night, tomorrow's gonna be a long day, we're probably gonna get out of here some time around 10:00 o'clock tonight and be back in early tomorrow morning, we'll assess it and move forward with what needs to be done tomorrow,” said Tom Hagerty, Waukegan Public Works Director.
The good thing about the timing of this storm is that it's hitting on a Friday night, so Saturday there will be fewer people out and about, and no school buses, making it easier for the plows to do their job.
But for those who had a job to do, like Darren Lewis, who had to drive in this weather from Waukegan to Union Station in Chicago to pick up his daughter who was coming home from college, it was going to be a labor of love.
I wish it were a different night, but it is what it is, I gotta go get her,” Lewis said. How long did he think it was going to take? “Possibly about two hours, maybe a little more….just to get there. So maybe a four hour trip.”
Drivers are reminded to slow down, leave extra room between cars and to keep their distance from snow plows.
About 9:30 p.m. Friday, 382 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport and 113 were canceled at Midway International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Delays were estimated at 15 minutes for both airports.
The city deployed more than 280 trucks late Friday afternoon to plow snow and salt the streets, according to the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation.
The Illinois Tollway deployed a fleet of 192 snowplows with a staff of 200 people per shift to address the weekend weather, according to the Illinois Tollway.