It's been more than 24 hours since snow stopped falling, in a blizzard that left 20 inches of fluffy white stuff in its wake, shutting down schools, village hall and the public library. The snow remains, but everything else appears to be returning to normal a day later.
Here's a quick breakdown of where village services stand as of late Thursday afternoon:
Is every road clear? As of 3 p.m. today, every street and alley in Oak Park has been plowed, according to Village Manager Tom Barwin. Crews are now looking to circle back and go through all 150 miles of village alleys a second time.
Oak Park is also digging out any bridges or pedestrian walkways, and will then start plowing the 117 parking lots across town this evening, Barwin said.
"I doubt that we'll get it all done tonight," Barwin said. "So that work will continue until we finish it, and it may take us through the weekend."
Where's all this snow going to go? Snow lifted from those 117 lots will then be transported and deposited at the empty lots at Lake and Forest and at Madison and Grove. Barwin expects the piled flurries to remain there until they melt.
When can I park on the street? Parking bans remained in effect across Oak Park as of Thursday afternoon. Those forbid drivers from depositing their vehicles on major streets labeled as "snow routes," and confine cars on residential streets to only one side of the road.
The bans will stay in place until Oak Park's public works director declares streets completely passable, according to village spokesman David Powers. Oak Park has yet to ticket or tow anyone for violating the ban, but the village may need to start relocating cars in order to completely plow parking lots. Any moved vehicles would be shuffled over to the Cavalry Church parking lot on Lake Street.
Powers said the village will not issue any tickets to overnight parking permit holders for parking outside of their zone while plowing is taking place.
When's my garbage getting picked up? After taking Wednesday off, Waste Management resumed picking up garbage at single-family homes and multi-family buildings of five units or less this morning. The waste hauler is now a day behind, according to Barwin, but it plans to work Saturday in order to catch up.
And what about my mail? Mail carriers attempted to make some rounds Wednesday, but didn't get very far, according to postal service spokesman Sean Hargagon. Full service has resumed today in Oak Park and River Forest, though some mail carriers may skip certain residences if sidewalks and steps aren't cleared.
"With a carrier, it's all about safety," Hargagon said. "If they don't feel safe going up to a certain spot, they don't have to make that delivery."
How much is this all going to cost? Numbers are still being tallied, but as of Thursday, Barwin is estimating that storm cleanup efforts have cost Oak Park about $100,000. That includes overtime hours, hiring outside contractors to help and repairing three snowplows that overheated.
However, Village President David Pope slapped his signature on a declaration that Oak Park is a disaster area, and the village hopes that it can recoup most of its costs for the dig out.
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