Chicago weather: Snow storm blankets area with several inches of snowfall accumulation; Motorists stranded on I-65 in NW Ind

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.

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. Sergeant Fifefield said anyone traveling should be prepared to be stranded.

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

Cathy and Jim McCollam said they were stranded for almost 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,” Cathy said.

They conserved fuel by periodically shutting the car down.

“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,” Cathy said.

Couple describes being stranded on I-65

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

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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 180 flights canceled, with 11 flights canceled at Midway as of 5:15 a.m.

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