All stranded motorists have now been rescued from Lake Shore Drive – but they probably shouldn’t have attempted to travel on the major thoroughfare in the first place, city officials said.
Hundreds of motorists and CTA passengers were trapped on the drive for six hours or more Tuesday night. Many were not rescued until early this morning, as rescue workers battled white-out conditions, 70 mph wind gusts and waist-high drifts to provide help.
City officials, however, said they had cautioned people in news conferences earlier Tuesday to avoid using the drive and had repeatedly warned that massive waves along the shoreline could cause extremely icy conditions. Authorities, however, did not officially close the road until 8 p.m., nearly an hour after a series of accidents caused motorists and several CTA buses to become stuck.
“As reported in (Tuesday’s) press conference we knew that the lakefront and Lake Shore Drive would be hit especially hard,” said Ray Orozco, Mayor Richard Daley’s chief of staff. “Nonetheless, it was clear that people leaving the Loop were relying on it as a major artery to get home that night.”
While acknowledging the Lake Shore Drive standstill was “particularly troublesome,” officials said they would not apologize for keeping the road open as the storm intensified. Without a series of accidents shortly after 7 p.m., the ordeal might not have happened, they said.
(click here to continue reading Bad LSD trip: Who’s to blame? – Chicago Breaking News.)
Being on LSD for eight hours probably not the best way to spend the Blizzard of 2011 though