It messed up rush hour and sent thousands of Naperville residents reaching for their snow shovels.
The snowstorm that lashed Naperville with up to 9 inches of snow into Thursday afternoon kept Naperville’s snowplow drivers busy as they cleared the city’s streets, but that didn’t mean it was smooth sailing for drivers.
“Winter driving precautions need to be exercised on all roadways, as roads are slippery,” the Winter Operations Update page on the city website advised Thursday morning.
A fleet of nearly 30 plows was at work while most of the city slumbered following the first day of the new year. Crews began clearing the 1,200 cul-de-sacs for a second time just after midnight Thursday morning, and a second pass was under way on all of the city’s roadways later in the morning.
City spokeswoman Linda LaCloche said that only one water main break had been reported since the snow began. It happened late Wednesday morning at Aurora Avenue and Washington Street near the JC Licht Co. paint store. Crews were anticipating fixing it either Thursday or Friday depending on the weather.
The break has not affected any service to the public at this time, LaCloche said, however, service will be temporarily disrupted to some while the repairs are completed. The Water Department will notify the appropriate area of any service disruptions prior to repairs being made.
Naperville Police Sgt. Bill Davis said police had responded to numerous minor traffic accidents, but none resulted in serious injury. The most significant crash, he said, occurred about 7 a.m. Thursday near Route 59 and Interstate 88, involving a semi-tractor trailer. The accident had been cleared by late morning, Davis said.
Deputy Naperville Fire Department Chief Rick Sander echoed Davis’ comments, saying there had been no major problems, weather-related injuries or calls for assistance to the fire department.
“We’re managing just fine,” Sander said.
He said fire and emergency workers were able to keep up with the snowfall and would simply be more alert to potential trouble until the storm passed.
Just because the snowstorm is gone doesn’t mean that Naperville is out of the woods just yet. The city is going to get hit with a second bit of wintry trouble.
Bitter cold — the likes of which the area hasn’t seen since early 2009 — is on its way.
The National Weather Service is expected to enact a Wind Chill Advisory at 9 p.m. Thursday through 10 a.m. Friday. The forecast called for temperatures reaching -15 degrees and with wind chills reaching -20 to -30 degrees, according to Stephen Rodriguez, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Romeoville office.
Friday is expected to be bitterly cold, too. The forecast called for temperatures ranging from 10 to 14 degrees with wind chills of -20 to -30 degrees. Strong wind gusts, up to 35 mph, may cause significant blowing and drifting of existing snow, reducing visibility, Rodriguez said.
A 50 percent chance of snow is possible Saturday. A high in the upper 20s and a low near 5 degrees in expected, with wind chills again reaching negative digits.
Rodriguez said “dangerously low temperatures” will sweep into the area beginning Sunday night and will linger until Wednesday.
“The temperature will not rise above zero,” he said.
Sunday’s forecast calls for highs near 10 degrees and a low near -16 degrees. A 30 percent chance of snow is possible and wind chills at night may reach -30 to -40 degrees.
Monday’s high temperature is expected to be -8 to -12 degrees. Lows may reach -20 degrees, Rodriguez said, and wind chills may reach -35 to -45 degrees.
Tuesday’s high temperature is expected to be -1 to -5 degrees.
A high of 32 degrees and low of 17 degrees are normal for this time of year.
“We are well below the normal average,” he said.
Rodriguez said more snow is possible late into the next work week.