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Blowing snow closes Sheridan Road

Evanston Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says blowing snow and low visibility will force the city to close Sheridan Road from the south city limits to Chicago Avenue on the Northwestern University campus overnight.

Evanston Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says blowing snow and low visibility will force the city to close Sheridan Road from the south city limits to Chicago Avenue on the Northwestern University campus overnight.

Fast-accumulating snow kept plows off side streets like Wesley Avenue this evening.

With snow now falling at a rate of up to two inches an hour, she says the section of Chicago Avenue from the south city limits to South Boulevard may also be closed because of snow blowing across Calvary Cemetery onto the road.

Other than than, Robinson said in a 9 p.m. conference call with reporters, city crews running 22 snow plows are managing to keep major roads open through Evanston, but clearing side streets will have to wait until after the snow stops falling sometime Wednesday.

Crews will also be hauling snow out of the downtown area overnight and taking it to Dawes Park on the lakefront where the city has positioned a snow melting machine to dispose of the truckloads of white stuff.

The overnight snow route parking ban goes into effect at 11 p.m. and Police Chief Richard Eddington says officers are getting ready to work with drivers from North Shore Towing to haul away any cars still left on the major streets at that hour.

The city is providing free parking in the three public garages downtown from now through 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning and Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons said none of the parking decks were more than half full shortly before 9 p.m. so there’s still plenty of room for drivers to move cars there.

Drivers who’ve bought discount permits to park on the roof of the Maple Avenue and Sherman Plaza garages won’t be able to park up top because of the snow — but they can still park for free on lower levels.

Eddington and Fire Chief Greg Klaiber said that call volume for the police and fire departments has been unusually low since the storm set in, with many people choosing to stay off the roads — something they encouraged residents to continue to do until the streets have been cleared.

Parks Director Doug Gaynor said that only one person was making use of the city’s emergency warming center at the Robert Crown Center as of mid-evening, but the city planned to keep it open overnight in case people lose heat during the storm.

With the city’s public schools closed Wednesday, the city will operate day care programs at the Fleetwood-Jourdain, Chandler-Newberger and  Crown Center and the centers will be open for regular recreational programs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

City libraries will be closed Wednesday and the Civic Center will only be open for snow-emergency related operations.

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