I was not convinced the storm would be that bad.
Living in the Chicago area for nearly my whole life, I have heard dozens of wolf cries in the form of weather alerts. Often the warnings simply led to a smattering of flurries, maybe some sleet. Perhaps it was the last weather alert that fueled my flippancy.
And then Big Nasty hit.
Driving east on 143rd Street Tuesday at dusk, my knuckles went white trying to find anything resembling a curb, after shooting a few stark scenes. Throughout Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, 20 inches of snow fell throughout the Chicago area and winds between 50 and 60 mph blew the snow into drifts several feet tall. Given the extreme circumstances, the villages stepped up to the plate with noticeable effectiveness.
In an age where everyone wields a camera of some sort, we opened up the channels for readers to post their own blizzard portraits alongside our staff’s shots. We also maintained updates during the storm and through the clean up. Through it all, the only major damage reported to village departments was a roof that blew off an apartment building in Orland Park. Readers also had a chance to weigh on our village response ratings.
Three years ago, a lone gunman killed five women at Lane Bryant in Tinley Park in what was thought to be an armed robbery. The suspect still hasn’t been caught. We looked back on the tragedy through the investigation, the unused store space that used to house Lane Bryant and words from those who lost a loved one.
Elsewhere in Orland, the Main Street Triangle case plods on, a pregnant woman with a child in the car led police on a chase and District 135 squares up after repairing the west wall of Orland Junior High. You may remember a bus struck the school in November.
In sports, the Sandburg Eagles wrestlers cannot be stopped. On Saturday the superhuman team won the Lockport Regional, making it their seventh regional title in the last eight years. On a different mat, the Lincoln Way Gymnastics co-op beat the Sandburg/Stagg group in regionals.
While attentions were justifiably focused on the storm on Wednesday and Thursday, we rolled out a slew of new features. Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think.
- Get Out: A Patch guide to weekend entertainment and amusement.
- Sold! Real estate transactions in the area.
- Viewfinder: A weekly photo gallery feature on common to extraordinary sights in town. We’re open to suggestions.
- Patch Picks: A short list of time-of-the-year-specific information (this week is about the Super Bowl).
- Bites Nearby: Reasons to try out area restaurants. Last week, Carmen’s Jazz Bistro was featured.
- The Daily PatchCast: Our evening video roundup of news from the area. Think of this as the cooler younger brother of TV nightly news.
Speaking of additions, check out Regional Editor Dennis Robaugh’s column A Good Read on the Southland, for other area news to keep an eye on. Elsewhere in columns, health guru Tina Tuszynski examined Seasonal Affective Disorder and the difference between SAD and depression. Also, I finally made good on a bet.
Lastly, let’s not forget Jasper, who might still need a home.
I wish you all a week without back pain from shoveling.