A winter storm Thursday and Friday delivered much less snow than was earlier predicted, though it was enough to give the area a white blanket in time for Christmas.
Homewood received 2.6 inches of snow as of 7 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
That’s enough snow to trigger the village’s ordinance requiring vehicles to be moved off-street to make way for plows. The rule is in effect any time the village receives 2 or more inches of snow.
Homewood Public Works Director John Schaefer said most people comply with the rule, but he did have to knock on a few doors Thursday night to ask people to move their vehicles.
The storm’s impact came from its frigid temperatures and gusty winds. With temperatures plummeting more than 40 degrees late Thursday, Dec. 22, and early Friday, Dec, 23, along with sustained winds of nearly 30 miles per hour and gusts over 40, the wind chill factor remained at -20 to -30 degrees most of Friday.
Homewood Public Works Director John Schaefer said the extreme cold was making it difficult for crews to clear streets to the pavement. The brine solution and salt used to help remove snow and ice lose effectiveness below 15 degrees, he said.
Many streets were still snowpacked on Friday, although they were still passable because the snow was light and dry.
In fact, the wind, in some cases, helped the plow crews by blowing snow off the streets, Schaefer said.
In other places, the reverse happened, with winds creating some drifting, especially on north-south streets, but no major problems resulted.
Schaefer said Public Works will monitor streets and weather conditions over coming days and send out more plows if needed.
At least two areas were affected by power outages Thursday, one in the Ravisloe neighborhood and one in the area of Western Avenue and Heather Road in both Homewood and Flossmoor. Schaefer said about 700 homes were affected, but ComEd responded promptly and the outages lasted one to two hours.
The H-F area appeared to fare better than some places in the path of the huge storm.
National Public Radio reported that more than 200 million people across the country were under a winter weather advisory or warning on Friday, with about 4,000 flights canceled. More than 1.5 million customers were without power Friday morning, with North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee bearing the brunt of the outages.
H-F wind chill readings were bad, but the NPR story noted that Cheyenne, Wyoming, recorded a wind chill of -51 degrees.