Chicago weather: Winter snow storm blankets area with several inches of snowfall accumulation

CHICAGO (WLS) — The Chicago area is digging out Friday after a winter snowstorm blanketed the area, with areas in northwest Indiana seeing the highest snowfall accumulation.

While the snow may have stopped, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for much of the Chicago area. The areas include Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Will, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, Lee counties in Illinois, as well as Indiana’s Lake and Porter counties beginning at 2 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Indiana State Police Sergeant Glenn Fifield warned Friday morning that travel conditions remain hazardous, with the road salt ineffective due to the low temperatures.

On stretches of I-65 near Rensselaer, Sergeant Fifield said conditions have led to jackknifed semis and reports of some people being stranded in cars for eight to nine hours. S

Indiana State police warn winter storm wreacks ‘havoc’ on I-65

Between the heavy snowfall and a series of crashes and jackknifed semi’s heading southbound, the situation went from bad to worse very quickly.

Kathy and Jim McCallam started driving home from a vacation at Disney World in Florida. They were hoping they would beat the storm, but ended up being stuck for about 10 hours.

“We thought we were going to be OK and if it got bad we were going to get off but it just suddenly got that you didn’t move for hours,” Kathy said.

They conserved fuel by periodically shutting the car down and they took naps when the could

“I called the non-emergency dispatcher in Indiana and they said as fast as they would get a jackknifed semi out of the way another one would happen,” Kathy said.

Couple describes being stranded on I-65

Friday morning the recovery was slow but steady. Indiana State Police said they rescued several drivers and were working to get as many tow trucks there as possible to help move semi’s out of the way.

Officals said all lanes of I-65 were back open as of 1:33 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Chicago area to go into effect at 2 p.m. and remain in effect until 9 a.m. Saturday with gusty winds expected to blow snow, creating difficult travel conditions.

Much of the snowfall hit the south and southwest suburbs. At around midnight, snow-covered roads continued to create problems near Coal City and Shorewood.

In the middle of the storm, drivers battled near-blizzard-like conditions with snow drifting sideways.

MORE: 100-car pileup in downstate Illinois shuts down I-39

The day started with overnight heavy rain before the snow and strong winds moved in, as the afternoon wore on.

Friday morning, some areas were still working on the clean-up effort before the morning commute.

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Overnight, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation transitioned 287 salt spreaders to begin clearing snow from residential streets.

Snowfall totals

Morocco – 9 inches
Rensselaer – 8 inches
hobart 7.5 inches
Streator 6 inches
Porter – 5.5 inches
Schereville – 5.0 inches
Chatsworth – 5.0 inches

Lansing – 4.7 inches
Lincolnwood – 4.5 inches
Naperville – 4.0 inches
Oak Lawn – 3.9 inches
Carbon Hill – 3.2 inches

WATCH: Full ABC7 AccuWeather 7-day Forecast

The weather created significant problems at the city’s airports. On Thursday, more than 380 flights were canceled at O’Hare and more than 140 cancellations at Midway. Friday, O’Hare reported 113 flights canceled, with 11 flights canceled at Midway as of 10:42 a.m.

Cook County Radar | DuPage County Radar | Will County Radar | Lake County Radar (IL) | Kane County Radar | Northwest Indiana Radar

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