Freak Rush Hour Snow Cuts Power, Snarls Traffic

Wednesday’s rush hour snowfall of 3.1″ total broke a record for snowfall on Nov. 24 (previous record 2.5″ in 1947 and 1949). The wet snow, known as ‘Heart Attack’ snow because of its weight on the snow shovel, caused many tree limbs and power lines to sag. Numerous power outages occured in Arlington Heights and nearby suburbs with some residents not expected to have power until about 4:00 a.m. Thursday. Many limbs and trees broke under stress from wind gusts and the weight of heavy snow sticking to branches. Blocked roads were reported  in Arlington Heights, Elk Grove, Mount Prospect, and Palatine with public works departments responding to clear the trees. Some limbs were tangled with power lines, which delayed cleanup until ComEd secured the power.

Numerous automobile accidents were reported throughout the area. The snow did not stick on roads as it started around noon, but by 3:00 p.m. the snow accumulated fast. Roads were especially slick. The worst period on the roads was between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. before plows had a chance to catch up.

The record snow Wednesday gives us the tenth Thanksgiving in Chicago history with snow on the ground. The water-to-snow ratio of Wednesday’s snow was 12:1,  making it very heavy. See WGN Weather Blog for more info …