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‘Ice storm warning’ in Chicago overlaps with morning commute

Icicles form on a Divvy Bike station along the lakefront near Monroe Street in the Loop, Tuesday morning, Feb. 12, 2019. An ice storm moved into the Chicago area Tuesday morning and made travel dangerous or nearly impossible, the National Weather Service warned. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

An ice storm moved into the Chicago area Tuesday morning and made travel dangerous or nearly impossible, the National Weather Service warned.

Ice totals were already over four-tenths of an inch by 6 a.m. Tuesday at O’Hare and Midway airports, the weather service said. A half inch of ice was reported in Aurora.

The ice storm warning is issued for Cook and DuPage counties and lasts until 9 a.m. Tuesday, the weather service said.

Strong afternoon winds of 45 to 50 mph will increase the threat of power outages into late Tuesday. A wind advisory for Cook and surrounding counties lasts from 2 p.m. Tuesday until 3 a.m. Wednesday.

By Tuesday afternoon, 6,987 customers were without power in ComEd’s service area, according to the utility company’s power outage map. Of those, 5,520 of the outages were in Cook County and 1,068 were in Chicago.

Another 973 outages were reported in Lee County and 705 were reported in DuPage County, ComEd said.

Train service on the Metra Electric Line and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s South Shore Line was suspended Tuesday morning. 

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As of noon on Tuesday, 308 flights were canceled at O’Hare and 95 were canceled at Midway International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Delays at both airports were averaging less than 15 minutes.

A list of school closures and delayed openings is available online.

The Chicago area was already under a “winter weather advisory” Monday night, and saw a mix of snow, ice and freezing rain.

Tuesday afternoon could see rain and snow, the weather service said. After that, more snow will likely push through the area until around midnight.

Tuesday’s daytime high is forecast for 35 degrees before temperatures dip to 19 degrees at night, the weather service said.

On Wednesday, Chicago area residents will get a break from the snow and rainfall, the weather service. More precipitation is expected on Thursday and Friday.

National Weather Service