Mayor Rahm Emanuel today pledged added resources to prepare for possible flooding as deep snow melts throughout Chicago, but also beseeched Mother Nature for a break and talked about ordering his top water official to go see a film about the biblical flood to help prep for the upcoming deluge.
"Short term, we've put more crews out," Emanuel said, a reference to an announcement this week from City Hall that the Department of Water Management would deploy additional workers to clear litter from catch basins so water can drain into the sewer system rather than pooling on the streets as temperatures rise.
"You get the fifth-most amount of snow, when it warms up, you're going to have flooding," the mayor said. "That's just the force of nature. And if Mother Nature's listening, after this winter, enough already. You're trying our patience. You win. Stop it already. No more."
And with Chicago drivers slaloming their cars along the streets to avoid worsening potholes, Emanuel said he's ordered his staff to try to enlarge the city's paving plan this year to pave more miles of streets in addition to increased pothole patching.
Chicago's already difficult financial situation will be further burdened by the costs of dealing with this winter, but Emanuel took the chance to point out American cities not as well prepared for this harsh winter have ground to a halt during recent storms.
"My first priority, and I don't want to say this about any particular city in America, but some cities, some places have in the past come to a standstill or not done their job," he said. "We're going to stay plowed, passable, and our roads people can use and our public transportation will also continue to serve the city and the residents of the city of Chicago."