Afternoon Edition: Feb. 2, 2022

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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A person in a snowmobile speeds along East Wacker Drive in the Loop as winter storm Landon enveloped the city in snow this morning.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

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Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

This afternoon will see more snow with a high of 22 degrees and daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. Tonight will be cloudy with a low around 18 degrees and more snow likely — possibly 1 to 3 inches of accumulation. Tomorrow will also be snowy with a high of 23 degrees.

Top story

10 inches of snow and climbing in parts of Chicago area as winter storm warning remains in effect until evening

A winter storm warning remains in effect this afternoon with over 10 inches reported in parts of the Chicago area at midday and more snow expected by the evening.

The main thrust of the snow had shifted late morning southeast into Indiana. Over 9.5 inches were recorded at Midway Airport, 10.5 inches in Oak Lawn and 9.8 inches in Homewood, according to the National Weather Service.

Totals were lower on the North Side but still substantial. The Lake View neighborhood reported 8.2 inches by noon and O’Hare Airport reported 5 inches.

Over 700 flights were canceled at Chicago airports by early afternoon.

Snow was falling an inch an hour during the morning rush, leading the weather service to warn on social media: “This is the worst part of this storm.”

Pankanom Phumruang could vouch for that, though perhaps her point of reference is skewed.

Phumruang, 25, moved here from Thailand five months ago to work as an au pair. This morning, she was struggling to push a stroller on Sheffield Avenue on her way to the CTA Red Line, her passenger, a young girl, bundled up in a pink snowsuit.

“We have hot weather all year” in Thailand, Phumruang said, so the snow was quite a shock. “It’s very bad. … I like everything in Chicago, except for the weather!”

At Clark and Sheffield, Hector Martinez was hard at work, clearing the sidewalk with a snowblower.

“It’s normal for Chicago,” Martinez said. “I don’t mind.”

Read more on the storm and how Chicagoans are handling it here.

More news you need

  1. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s latest budget proposal will devote an extra $500 million to Illinois’ pension funds, pump $200 million into a “rainy day” fund and tamp down the state’s unpaid bill backlog — all while providing $1 billion in tax cuts, freezes and rebates. Pritzker outlined the ambitious $45.4 billion election-year spending plan during his “State of the State” today in Springfield.
  2. When Melissa Ortega was shot to death Jan. 22, the teen accused of pulling the trigger was just months into a three-year sentence of “intensive probation services.” Intensive probation, among the strictest punishments for offenders in the juvenile system, prioritizes keeping young defendants out of jail and connected with their community, said one local attorney who represents juvenile defendants.
  3. The city’s vaccine mandate for bar and restaurant patrons could be rescinded “quite soon” if COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations keep falling as drastically as they have over the past two weeks, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said yesterday. Other coronavirus mitigations, including the statewide indoor mask mandate, could be reconsidered soon, too.
  4. About 45 Chicago police officers will return to their assignments from administrative positions at the department’s headquarters effective tomorrow, according to police. Some of the officers will return to district patrol, while others will return to other units, police said.
  5. In light of today’s snow and the additional accumulation expected into tomorrow, many Chicagoans are bundling up and getting to work on shoveling out sidewalks and vehicles. But if you’re older or have health issues, health experts caution against shoveling, citing the increased risk of a heart attack.

A bright one

Family among many Chicagoans looking to make the best out of snowstorm

The Black family, of Lincoln Park, trudged through knee-deep snow, their heads dipped against a ferocious wind.

At first, it seemed like a great idea on a school snow day to head to Cricket Hill at Montrose Harbor for some sledding.

At the summit, with snow swirling, Heiji Black and her daughter, Thea, climbed onto a sled. Dad gave them a hard push. The sled went maybe 10 feet and then sank. Dad had a go. Five feet.


Heiji Black and her daughter, Thea, 8, attempt to tackle Montrose Harbor’s Cricket Hill today, but the snow was just too deep.

Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times

“One and done,” Brian Black said.

The family headed down the hill to their SUV, planning to make hot chocolate back at home.

“The second you hit the snow you just sink. ... All I got was snow in my mouth,” said a disappointed Thea, 8. “Honestly, I think maybe school would be a bit better.”

Stefano Esposito has more snow day stories here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Is it wrong to order food delivery in a snowstorm? Tell us why or why not.

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: Should the city be responsible for clearing snow off sidewalks?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Yes. Chicagoans pay enough in tax without benefits from it. It’s a public area.” — Jason Alexander

“No. First, the city has no money for such largess. Second, snow removal is a good exercise in the public-spiritedness of Chicagoans. Most residential fronts in the city are relatively narrow. And the neighborliness of snow removal from sidewalks acts as an antidote to dibs on the street.” — Craig Barner

“Yes they should, all this money they are getting from these cameras should be enough to pay for them to be shoveled.” — Patricia Newlin

“The sidewalks are the city’s properties, so yes — they should be responsible for shoveling them.” — Sharon Thompson McCoy

“Sidewalks should be on owners, with an exception of elderly folks and vacant property. But I do think the city should plow and salt the alleys.” — Rya Beth

“No, as a homeowner it’s your responsibility to clear your property. For children walking to school, the mail person and delivery that you might expect.” — Patricia Baldwin

“Yes! It’s a ‘public way’ not a ‘private way’ and they own it.” — Paully Bagadonutz

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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