Cleanup efforts underway in Chicago, suburbs following first measurable snowfall

Following the first measurable snowfall of the season Tuesday afternoon, cleanup efforts were underway in Chicago and the suburbs well into the evening. 

In McHenry, where much of the snow that fell had turned to slush by nightfall, roads and sidewalks were being cleared, one plow – and shovel at a time.

"I do it every winter, it’s pretty fun," said Eric Strzalka.

Strzalka works for Lorenzo’s Landscaping and said they also planned to make stops in Libertyville and Skokie Tuesday night.

"It’s not bad, it’s normal Midwest snow," said Strzalka. "It’s a little wet, but nothing we can’t really do."

Local hardware stores got their fair share of customers looking for the essentials.

"I got a wife who had a knee replacement so I don’t want her to fall," said John Lanphier, who was picking up salt Tuesday evening. "We got a long driveway on a hill."

Just over the border at Wilmot Mountain, ski and snowboard lovers were in their element.

Meanwhile, in Arlington Heights, crews weren’t just plowing the roads, but also monitoring conditions from inside the Public Works Department’s Snow Command.

"It’s a good storm to be the first storm," said Glenn Adams, snow commander and street unit foreman in Arlington Heights.


In the Snow Command, trucks are monitored through GPS, eyes remain on the radar, and even the temperature of the pavement is tracked.

Adams said it’s something they prepare for months in advance.

"We prepare in early October with a ‘snow day’ where the trucks go out, drive the routes, make sure everything is good – no potholes, no low branches, things like that. Once that’s done, the trucks are calibrated, so they throw out the right amount of salt, and then we wait for it to snow," said Adams.

Drivers are encouraged to take it slow during slick conditions, and to move over for snow plows.

"They don’t stop on a dime," said Adams. "They’re there to make the roads better, safer for you."