As Chicago digs out Monday from yet another major snowfall, with accumulation piling onto previous storm totals that have yet to melt, Department of Streets and Sanitation Commissioner John Tully said his crews are running out of space for all the snow.
The department is now activating its plan to relocate snow to pre-determined areas identified by ward superintendents. A lot near Guaranteed Rate Field is one of the larger sites, Tully said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
With some areas of the city blanketed in nearly 18 inches of snow, Streets and San will remained focused on clearing arterial streets and Lake Shore Drive throughout the day Tuesday. Tully said he anticipated crews would be able to switch to residential streets by early evening if no additional snow falls on main thoroughfares.
The heavy snowfall has also affected trash pickup, he said, with drivers diverted to plowing, and alleys difficult to access. Crews will work Saturday to catch up with the refuse schedule, Tully said.
The commissioner asked business owners to set aside parking spaces in their private lots for snow, instead of pushing snow from their lots into the street.
Additional department updates:
The CTA has all bus routes running but is asking residents and business owners to help clear areas when possible around its 11,000 bus stops. Service on CTA’s Purple and Yellow rail lines has been hampered by switching problems, which the agency aims to have remedied by Wednesday, according to officials.
The Building Department is warning residents against attempting to clear roofs. “Let nature take its course,” said Commissioner Matt Beaudet. “Our roofs are built to have a lot of snow on them.” Collapses tend to only happen in the case of vacant buildings, he said, where the lack of heat keeps snow from melting.
Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the storm had delayed shipment of coronavirus vaccines. No doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines were shipped Monday; no Moderna doses shipped Tuesday; and only a limited supply of Pfizer doses shipped Tuesday. The city closed its vaccination sites Tuesday and rescheduled those appointments. Previously scheduled vaccination appointments will be kept Wednesday at the city’s sites, Arwady said.
The majority of outpatient vaccine sites receive Moderna doses, which have been the most disrupted by shipping issues, according to Arwady. She advised people to check with their providers to make sure appointments are still valid.