Chicago: Thundersnow? Snowicane? A Big Mess

Lake Shore Drive closed, 24-foot swells on Lake Michigan...
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2011 7:13 AM CST
Updated Feb 2, 2011 7:58 AM CST

(Newser) One-third of the country is covered in snow, but the storm hammering Chicago is especially intense. What they’re dealing with, courtesy of the Tribune, Sun-Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle:

  • Hundreds of motorists and bus riders were stranded last night and early this morning on Lake Shore Drive due to snow, ice, and whiteout conditions; while many were rescued after five hours or so, some reported being trapped for as many as nine hours. The Drive was completely closed around 7:50pm, as officials tried to clear abandoned vehicles from the paths of plows, buses, and salt trucks.
  • Though official reports claim drivers were urged to stay in their cars, “Lake Shore Drive” quickly became a trending topic on Twitter as users tweeted that people were being told to leave their cars in order to avoid danger from Lake Michigan’s 24-foot swells.

  • As officials worked to reopen Lake Shore Drive, I-80 was also expected to be closed. That and other interstates, highways, and roads were reported to be “impassable.”
  • Among the buildings damaged by the blizzard: Wrigley Field, where a portion of the roof blew off.
  • Nearly 20,000 power outages were reported in Chicago and the surrounding area last night, and ComEd was working through the night to brace for more downed power lines.
  • Train riders also found themselves stuck when frozen switches halted Red Line trains in both directions as well as some Yellow Line trains, and had to scramble for alternate transportation.
Click for more on this crazy weather. (Read more snowstorm stories.)

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