More than 1,500 flights canceled as snowstorm slams Midwest

More than 1,200 US flights have been canceled Friday as a winter storm slammed the Midwest with at l...

Posted: Feb 9, 2018 7:51 PM
Updated: Feb 9, 2018 7:51 PM

More than 1,200 US flights have been canceled Friday as a winter storm slammed the Midwest with at least 1 inch of snow per hour.

Heavy snow and strong winds already are pounding Chicago and Detroit, where public school systems opted not to open Friday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

Some 25 million Americans are under winter weather alerts Friday

Chicago could see 14 inches of snow Friday, then 4 more inches this weekend

"We are getting more snow today, tomorrow and Sunday than we have normally gotten in the last two winters in any one period of time," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a Friday news conference, adding that the city's top priority is the safety of residents.

"Whether that's young kids, homeless, elderly, sick, commuters -- in every capacity we are responding and ensuring that people are able to handle this weather."

More than 25 million Americans are under winter weather alerts as an arctic front pushes from Montana through the Midwest, CNN meteorologists said.

Chicago could get around a foot of snow -- 8 to 14 inches -- by late Friday, plus 4 more inches through the weekend, forecasters said.

The bulk of flight cancellations affect Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, according to the tracking site FlightAware.com.

Kieran Sheridan, chief operating officer for the Chicago Department of Aviation, said in a Friday press conference that the city's airports were "well-prepared."

About 280 heavy snow equipment operators were working on the airfields at Midway and O'Hare, said Sheridan, who warned travelers to give themselves extra time when heading to the airport.

"Currently delays at O'Hare are between 30 and 45 minutes, and at Midway, approximately 15 minutes," he said.

Four major US airlines -- Delta, United, Frontier and Southwest -- have issued weather waivers for passengers, allowing travelers to change their reservations without incurring fees.

Chicago's biggest snowstorm in 3 years

A foot of snow is still a big deal for Chicagoans. Since 1884, the city has had only nine days when 12 or more inches of snow fell.

In 2011, residents weathered 20 inches of snow over two days. A storm in February 2015, logging in at 16.2 inches, was the last time Chicago had more than 10 inches of snow in a single storm.

Chicagoans headed to grocery and hardware stores Thursday to stock up on food and essentials before the storm.

"We have our shovels, we have our potassium for the sidewalks," Pam Smith told CNN affiliate WGN. "We have our food, our wine and our fireplace."

Authorities across Illinois prepared some 300 pieces of snow-fighting equipment and thousands of tons of salt for nearly 16,000 miles of highways and state roads.

Road conditions began deteriorating Thursday night as the system neared Chicago, the Illinois Department of Transportation tweeted.

"Our crews are out in full force clearing snow but please consider postponing any unnecessary travel!"

Rachel Linn shared a photo of a tranquil snow-covered street early Friday. "Road conditions are abysmal," she said, adding she'll take the train to make her way around the city Friday.

The BNSF line on Chicago's Metra commuter rail service is operating Friday but on an adjusted snow schedule, the system said in a statement Thursday.

"We will be doing everything we can to prepare for and combat this major winter storm," said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski in the statement. "We will also do everything we can to make sure our customers are up to date with the latest information about their trains."

Freddy Travis, who works in an ad agency downtown, shared a picture of the city's Magnificent Mile blanketed in snow while a man shoveled the sidewalk.

Travis told CNN via Facebook the snow definitely affected his morning workout. "Honestly it was a workout just getting to the gym," he said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 90017

Reported Deaths: 2017
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25857922
Ramsey10492318
Dakota7125125
Anoka5753132
Stearns377023
Washington357355
Scott242633
Olmsted228727
Nobles193116
Blue Earth15986
Wright15337
St. Louis135234
Carver13517
Rice13018
Mower12864
Clay126140
Sherburne109314
Kandiyohi9312
Winona85018
Lyon6464
Waseca5328
Steele5212
Freeborn5163
Benton5113
Watonwan5054
Nicollet49916
Todd4792
McLeod4462
Chisago4441
Le Sueur4444
Crow Wing43318
Otter Tail3924
Beltrami3764
Goodhue3309
Martin3199
Pine2810
Itasca27713
Polk2734
Isanti2580
Douglas2491
Becker2442
Carlton2391
Cottonwood2190
Pipestone2129
Unassigned20952
Morrison2031
Dodge1990
Chippewa1921
Sibley1793
Meeker1772
Wabasha1740
Brown1732
Yellow Medicine1582
Murray1542
Rock1520
Mille Lacs1453
Redwood1400
Jackson1331
Faribault1320
Renville1286
Cass1253
Roseau1160
Swift1141
Pennington1121
Houston1100
Fillmore1080
Kanabec1058
Koochiching1053
Lincoln1020
Stevens931
Pope880
Hubbard820
Aitkin711
Big Stone680
Wadena650
Grant584
Wilkin553
Lake530
Norman510
Marshall491
Lac qui Parle460
Mahnomen451
Red Lake390
Traverse300
Clearwater260
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 80106

Reported Deaths: 1256
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15318256
Johnson499527
Woodbury498961
Black Hawk434986
Linn3783106
Story328617
Dubuque279840
Scott279727
Dallas269038
Pottawattamie200037
Buena Vista194712
Marshall176134
Sioux13503
Wapello126757
Webster119314
Clinton107018
Muscatine106452
Plymouth105220
Crawford10014
Cerro Gordo99621
Warren9286
Jasper76632
Des Moines7417
Marion7154
Tama69031
Carroll6345
Henry6074
Lee5967
Wright5621
Dickinson4856
Boone4677
Bremer4627
Washington43111
Louisa42515
Mahaska34019
Franklin33617
Delaware3353
Hamilton3143
Jackson3003
Floyd2983
Winneshiek2985
Clay2923
Benton2861
Hardin2761
Winnebago27111
Butler2592
Clarke2553
Emmet25210
Poweshiek2498
Lyon2483
Allamakee2455
Jones2443
Buchanan2421
Shelby2421
Clayton2323
Guthrie2235
Cedar2211
Chickasaw2210
Kossuth2190
Sac2140
Grundy2052
Madison2052
Cherokee1942
Fayette1911
Iowa1851
Mitchell1830
Howard1825
Harrison1782
Humboldt1733
Hancock1722
Calhoun1702
Mills1681
Palo Alto1600
Pocahontas1522
Monroe14810
Lucas1426
Page1420
Monona1381
Jefferson1341
Cass1332
Osceola1260
Appanoose1233
Taylor1231
Union1223
Davis1144
Van Buren1101
Worth1020
Ida970
Keokuk911
Fremont870
Greene870
Montgomery865
Wayne822
Adair661
Audubon641
Decatur590
Ringgold412
Adams280
Unassigned160
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