With the snow having at least temporarily halted and the sunshine teasing through the clouds, City of Evanston staff offered another update on the City and the storm. City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz has called directors of City departments to be on hand for regular press briefings since yesterday. Today’s briefing, at 12:30 p.m., yielded the following information.
Blizzard conditions appear to have abated, freeing snowplows to cover all four quadrants of the City. Suzette Robinson, director of Public Works, said she hopes that Sheridan Road, now closed between Howard Street and the Chicago Avenue intersection, will be reopened by 7 p.m. this evening. She said by that time, or perhaps even earlier, all residential streets will have been plowed.
After 7 p.m., if everything goes according to plan, City crews will concentrate on school bus routes, as public schools in Evanston are slated to reopen tomorrow.
The City accepted an offer by Northwestern University to use eight of its plows to clear residential streets “adjacent to University structures.”
Snow taken from business districts will be hauled to several vacant places in the City, Ms. Robinson said: the parking lot at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, James Park and the vacant lot at Main Street and Chicago Avenue.
The snow-route parking bans will be in effect tonight, Ms. Robinson said, and snow-emergency parking bans on residential streets will be in effect both Thursday and Friday.
The downtown parking decks are about 60 percent full, reported Parking Manager Ricky Voss. The rooftops of both the Maple Avenue and Sherman Avenue garages are closed until the snow has been removed, he said.
Dave Stoneback, director of the Utilities Department, said there are reports of four power outages: on Girard Avenue, Garrison Street, Lawndale Avenue and Washington Street. In each case the service line to the building or home had been damaged. Commonwealth Edison crews are working on each of these, he said.
The Levy Center and Fleetwood-Jourdain and Chandler-Newberger community centers are closed, said Doug Gaynor, director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services. Robert Crown Center remained open last night for persons who need shelter, and it is open today.
Police and Fire and Life Safety
Both Police Chief Richard Eddington and Fire Chief Greg Klaiber reported few calls for service. Chief Eddington said reports of crime have been “very low,” and most calls are for service. He said the traffic division is gearing up for the parking bans that will be in effect for at least the next two days.
Garbage and Recycling
Since the City does not plow alleys, Groot trucks would not be able to pick up garbage today or tomorrow from most residences, Ms. Robinson said. More information about recycling and refuse pickups will be available in a few hours, she said.
Mr. Bobkiewicz said the plan is for all City buildings to resume normal operations tomorrow, with the Civic Center, the library and other buildings open. One more press briefing – scheduled for later today – he said, “and we’ll call it a blizzard.”