If the Chicago-area rain freezes overnight as an Ice Storm Warning rolls on and into Wednesday morning–the biggest threat is untreated roadways and sidewalks.
Agencies NBC 5 spoke with encourage residents to be extra cautious when walking on icy sidewalks and keep your eyes open for downed or hanging electrical wires which could be hidden and live.
Authorities suggest keeping your fridge stocked and on its lowest setting. They also advise being vigilant on roadways that may be untreated. You should never approach a downed power line. Always assume it’s live.
ComEd was getting a leg up Tuesday night on the forecasted ice storm, opening up an emergency operations center in Joliet with more than 500 crews on standby for restoration efforts. The idea is you won’t have to go without power during the first ice storm we’ve seen in a decade.
Chicago-Area Roads Could Be Dangerously Slick
“When we start seeing outages come in, we’ve got operations folks from our 11,000-square-mile territory to dispatch crews,” said ComEd spokesman John Schoen.
A ComEd representative is spending the night at Office of Emergency Management and Communications in Chicago for an even faster response if needed.
“ComEd has a room here at OEMC throughout the week,” spokesman Rich Guidice said. “For conditions like this we ask them to stay overnight and through the morning just in case something goes wrong through evening. We have direct contact here in our building.”
Jane Hickie is from Ireland but lives in Chicago now.
“I’ve never been through an ice storm before,” she said. “Let alone a polar vortex.”
Adam Willis, originally from Australia, was also vexed by the Ice Storm Warning.
“I don’t even know what an ice storm is,” he said. “We don’t get ’em where I’m from.”
FEMA suggests you keep several things handy in your home, including a flashlight, batteries, phone charger, first aid, and a three day supply of food and water.