CHICAGO — City officials have been meeting Monday morning on preparations for the deep freeze heading to the area.
A Winter Weather Advisory was in effect until 9 p.m. Monday. A Wind Chill Warning begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday until noon Thursday. For the latest updates, go to wgntv.com/weather.
Officials are recommending that people stay home if possible, but if they have to go out, use patience on the roadways.
"Snow and extreme cold are not only inconvenient, but also very dangerous. To that end, we ask everyone to limit your time outdoors and work remotely from home, if possible. If you must drive in these conditions, please allow extra time for travel, keep your vehicle in working order and be patient. Many accidents can be avoided by taking extra time and being respectful of other motorists," OEMC First Deputy, Rich Guidice said.
Chicago woke up under a blanket of snow. Road crews were out in force Monday Monday. The heaviest snow fell between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m., making the morning commute messy.
Streets and Sanitation Department Commissioner John Tully said 300 plows and salt trucks were working for hours to clear the major streets. By the afternoon, crews had started plowing the side streets.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city has coordinated across all departments for the coming cold snap, when air temperatures could be 20 below and wind chills could make it feel like 50 below.
“The people of Chicago, their safety and security is the No. 1 priority in every neighborhood throughout the city of Chicago,” he said.
CPS officials said they will update parents Tuesday around noon regarding school Wednesday and Thursday.
The mayor urged residents to check on their neighbors and the elderly.
All of the city's warming centers, including libraries, community centers and police stations, will be open over the next several days.
Anyone experiencing insufficient heat could call 311 for immediate assistance.