Tuesday’s snowfall most here since blizzard of 2011
SUN-TIMES MEDIA March 5, 2013 4:27PM
Updated: March 6, 2013 7:34AM
Tuesday’s snowstorm produced the most accumulation since the February 2011 blizzard. The snow, which began falling during the morning rush hour, continued falling in the Aurora and Naperville area late into the night.
The record for the largest Chicago snowfall on March 5 was broken by 4 p.m. when six inches of accumulation were recorded at O’Hare International Airport, according to the National Weather Service.
At least 7 inches of snowfall was measured in parts of eastern Aurora and western DuPage County by 9 p.m.
The storm also quickly became the largest of the season, surpassing the 5.4 inches accumulated at O’Hare International Airport between Feb. 26 and Feb. 27, the weather service said.
The snow and strong winds are expected to continue until midnight, and an additional one to three inches of accumulation is possible, the weather service said.
The weather caused school closures all over the area and the rescheduling of some Aurora city council committee meetings.
Instead, Aurora aldermen will hold back-to-back Committee of the Whole and City Council meetings next Tuesday, at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively at City Hall, said Rachel Pruneda, deputy city clerk.
The Oswego Village Board also canceled its meeting.
However, Naperville’s City Council meeting Tuesday night went on as scheduled.
By about 3 p.m., National Weather Service spotters had reported 5.1 inches of snow had fallen on average across the western suburbs while Rockford had recorded more than 7 inches.
The weather service issued a winter storm warning for all Chicago area counties that remined in effect until midnight.
The storm, forecast to dump up to a foot of snow in some areas, forced the cancellation of over 1,200 flights at O’Hare and Midway, slammed the brakes on the Tuesday evening rush and prompted many schools and workplaces to close their doors early.
Meanwhile, local public works departments tried to stay in front of today’s storm, which as of 1 p.m. was piling up on residential streets and starting to stick and create slushy conditions on major thoroughfares.
As of 11:30 a.m. 35 snow plows and trucks were circling Aurora’s streets, salting and clearing roadways, according to city spokesman Dan Ferrelli.
They began work at 4 a.m. salting primary streets, but with heavy snow continuing to fall across the Fox Valley, crews everywhere are working to clear mostly major arteries.
In Naperville, more than two dozen plows from the city’s Public Works Department were at work by 9:30 a.m., and more were waiting in the wings.
By 11:45 a.m., Kendall County announced that it would be relying on its emergency traffic crash reporting plan -- any driver involved in an accident without injuries is asked to exchange name, phone number, license and insurance information, and note the time, date and location of the accident and report it within 48 hours to the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office.
The statewide Test Tornado Drill which was scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday has been postponed because of the anticipated winter storm.
The Test Tornado Warning has been rescheduled to 10 a.m. Wednesday. At that time, an actual Tornado Warning, with test wording inserted throughout, will be issued by Illinois National Weather Service Offices for all 102 counties in the state. The drill is being conducted to test communications equipment in conjunction with Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week.