CHICAGO — It’s all hands on deck at the City of Chicago as forecasts call for blizzard conditions and dangerous cold in the next few days.
Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) held a press conference to brief residents on the Winter Storm Warning and severe cold expected to come with the weather system.
Joining the OEMC was:
- National Weather Service in Chicago
- Department of Streets and Sanitation
- Department of Family Support and Services
- Department of Buildings
- Chicago Department of Transportation
- Department of Water Management
- Chicago Fire Department
- Chicago Department of Aviation
- Chicago Public Schools
- Peoples Gas
- Chicago Transit Authority
- Chicago Park District
- Chicago Public Library
Rich Guidice, the executive director of OEMC, urged people to be patient and look out for each other.
Cole Stallard, commissioner of the Department of Streets and Sanitation, said the department is ready to hit the roads.
Stallard said the department has the ability to put 300 trucks on the streets and can call private vendors and other departments to bring the number up to 750 if needed.
Andrew Velasquez, the first deputy aviation commissioner, said they have more the 350 pieces of snow removal equipment, plenty of liquid de-icer and 500,000 tons of salt for airport runways.
The frigid temperatures mean those living on our streets will be at risk. Extra help is on hand.
“Over the next days and nights, outreach teams will be on the streets visiting encampments and encouraging resistents to take shelter and make sure they’re ok,” Commissioner of Family and Support Services Brandie Knazze said.
Additional ambulances are also being brought in to limit the winter wallop’s impact on response times.
“In heavy snow conditions, we can lose time locating fire hydrants,” Annette Nance-Holt, Chicago’s fire commissioner, said. “If you have one on your block or part of your residence, please clear it out for us.”
Officials also reminded people they can sign up for text alerts from OEMC.
WGN caught up with some visitors Wednesday evening as they try to enjoy the city before the storm approaches.
The warning will be in effect for Thursday at 9 a.m. through Saturday at 6 a.m. for McHenry, Boone, DeKalb, Kane and LaSalle counties.
Starting at noon Thursday, the warning goes into effect for Cook, Will and DuPage counties until 6 a.m. Saturday. It begins for Lake, Newton and Jasper counties in Northwest Indiana at 3 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Saturday.
The National Weather Service is predicting two to five inches of snow. However, frigid temperatures are forecasted to last beyond those days.
You can view the entire press conference in the video above.