A snowstorm that started Tuesday afternoon continues, and will bring up to 8 inches of snow before it ends, forecasters say.
A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday for all Chicago area counties, according to the National Weather Service.
But this morning, two shoppers were outside waiting for snow blowers, and phone lines lit up with inquiries about equipment availability and servicing, said Stanley Sobyra, hardware manager.
With price tags of $399 to $799, snow blowers are a major investment, “but as long as you change the oil and spark plugs, they last for years,” Sobyra said.
The store also has sold a lot of snow brushes and shovels, he said.
Hunter Pawlowski, 7, of Western Springs, waited in line with a red shovel almost as big as he was.
“I’m having a friend over. We’re going to shovel the driveway and then we can play in the snow,” Hunter said with great enthusiasm.
Hunter’s 9-year-old brother, Robert, was less than enamored with the prospect of shoveling.
“I like throwing snowballs better and making forts,” Robert said. “I made two snow forts, one for me and one for my brother.”
The boys’ neighbor, Nina Adams of Western Springs, said she and her husband don’t own a snow blower. The couple shoveled their driveway the night before and plan to do more today.
“It’s a long driveway, and by the time we were done, we had to start all over and shovel again,” Adams said.
Residential streets in Hinsdale were snow-covered as of Thursday afternoon, but Garfield was clear down to the pavement through most of Hinsdale.
John Deppe chose to combine recreation with running errands and put on cross country skis for his trip to the Hinsdale post office. Deppe was visiting his parents, who live near Hinsdale Central High School. He had planned to return home to Chicago New Year’s Day, but the heavy snow persuaded him to stay overnight in Hinsdale.
“I found these in the garage,” he said, referring to the skis. “They’re my parents.’ They’re probably from the 1970s. They could use some wax or grease, but I don’t know how to ski, so maybe it’s better I don’t go too fast.”
Some of the hills in town were kind of icy, Deppe said, but overall, “the roads are great for skiing. I don’t know how good they are for anything else.”
More snow meant fewer patients and the chance to stay home today for Patti Sbertoli, a nurse from LaGrange Park.
“They love the snow,” Sbertoli said of her two dogs Cody and Bailey. “I am having a difficult time walking them. They just want to romp.”
Sbertoli said Tuesday’s winter storm changed her New Year’s Eve plans.
“We stayed in this year. We didn’t want to be traveling and take any chances,” she said. “We looked out from our French doors and the scene was just like from a Christmas card.”
At Park Junior High School in LaGrange Park, Vince Lombardo was clearing the parking lot in his truck.
“I’ve been at it for 12 hours now, and it was 12 hours before that,” the Elmhurst resident said. “I got two hours of sleep in between.”
Lombardo said he’s been busy plowing lots for churches funeral homes and schools.
The onslaught of snow didn’t deter students from attending enrichment classes this morning at Park Junior High. Only two families registered couldn’t make it.
Hinsdale South High School in Darien canceled all extracurricular events scheduled for Thursday, including activities, events, meetings, practices and athletic contests. All offices at Hinsdale South will close at 12:30 p.m., though the office plans to reopen Friday and classes resume on Monday.
There are several parking bans on area streets given the snowfall. Vehicles may be ticketed if parked on a street after 2 inches of snow in LaGrange Park, 3 inches in Hinsdale and 4 inches in Western Springs. These bans range from 12 hours to a full day after the snow stops.
Western Springs officials remind residents to take time to shovel public sidewalks for pedestrians, and to clear snow away from fire hydrants.
“In case of an emergency, seconds count,” the village posts on its website. “There are over 450 fire hydrants in Western Springs. Is one on or near your property? Please assign someone in your household the responsibility of keeping fire hydrants on or near your property clear of snow for easy access.”