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Biggest snow of season hits the morning rush

Published: Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 10:10 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — Commuters got a crash refresher course on driving to work in the winter as the heaviest snow to hit the Chicago area in a year caused cars to spin out, trucks to jackknife and travel times to nearly double.

"They're everywhere," State Police Master Sgt. Jason LoCoco said, tallying up all the accidents on expressways this morning.

As of 7 a.m., state police were responding to seven accidents scattered over the Kennedy, Dan Ryan and Eisenhower expressways. The most serious appeared to be a jackknifed truck on Interstate 290 at Lake Street that shut down three lanes.

Dozens more had reported overnight, but there were no serious injuries.

By the time the snow tapers off around 10 a.m., accumulation in most parts of the Chicago area will range between 2 and 4 inches and taper off by 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville.

As of 6 a.m., 2.6 inches had been recorded at O'Hare International Airport, making this the largest snowstorm to hit the Chicago area since Feb. 24 of last year, when 3.5 inches were recorded.

"We're not going to get much more," said Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. "A half-inch to an inch more maybe. More in Indiana."

Arlington Heights had about 3.4 inches as of 6 a.m., Elgin 3.3 inches, Elk Grove Village  2.8 inches, Woodstock  2.3 inches, St. Charles 2.2 inches, Oak Park 2 inches, Countryside 2 inches and Aurora  1 inches.

In Chicago, snow plows were focusing first on clearing main streets and Lake Shore Drive, according to the Department of Streets and Sanitation. After clearing those roads, plow drivers will shift their focus to side streets.

The snow was also forcing cancellations and delays at O'Hare. As of 7 a.m., 127 flights had been canceled and 57 delayed, according to FlightStats, which draws data from airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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