Either driving a bicycle or a car on Slade Avenue proved to be difficult to maneuver Tuesday, as a winter snowstorm passed through Elgin. February 26, 2013 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 28, 2013 6:37AM
The storm system that dumped 15 inches of snow in parts of Oklahoma and buffeted the Texas panhandle with 80-mph wind gusts on Monday made its way to the Fox Valley on Tuesday, prompting the cancellation of after-school activities and early dismissal for some college classes.
Local police reported slippery conditions throughout the afternoon and early evening, especially on hills, with a number of fender-benders.
While some suburban areas reported a combination of sleet and wet snow, the Fox Valley saw all snow that began late in the morning Tuesday and continued into the evening as temperatures hovered around freezing.
With wind gusts as high as 35 to 40 mph, the wind-whipped snow caused low visibilities and difficult travel conditions that afternoon. It had accumulated at more than one inch an hour and kept up that rate for several hours, according to an update from Elgin’s Snow Command.
Chicago’s airports airlines canceled more than 330 flights at O’Hare and 170 flights at Midway as of late Tuesday afternoon, while hundreds more flights were delayed up to 60 minutes, according to the Department of Aviation.
The Illinois Tollway mobilized all of its 182 snowplows and canceled all temporary lane closures through 7 a.m. Thursday morning.
Between 6 and 10 inches of snow were expected to be on the ground by Wednesday morning, with the northwest suburbs being the hardest hit, according to the National Weather Service, which had issued a winter weather advisory that was extended until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Elgin had “a full complement of trucks” out on the roads, with extra snowplows on main roads, according to Snow Command. And the city was warning residents to “drive with extra caution and avoid unnecessary travel at this time.”
Both Elgin School District U46 and Burlington Central Community Unit School District 301 decided just after 12:30 p.m. to cancel all after-school activities Tuesday, according to their websites. Many after-school activities also were canceled in Carpentersville-area Community Unit School District 300, according to its website.
In addition, both Elgin Community College and Judson University in Elgin canceled all classes and closed their campuses at 2 p.m., according to their Facebook pages.
Both Barrington School District 220 and St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 also dismissed some schools early in addition to canceling after-school activities.
And the IHSA Boys’ Basketball Regionals scheduled to Tuesday night at South Elgin High School were rescheduled for Wednesday — with the 6 p.m. game between Larkin and Elgin high schools and the 7:30 p.m. game between St. Charles East and St. Charles North.
NWS meteorologist Matt Friedlein had said the incoming system had the feel of a March storm, in which the near-freezing temperatures make it tricky to predict rain or snow. “It’s a very fine line between a major impact and potentially none, with it all being rain.”
With Sun-Times Media reports.