CHICAGO — A wintry storm brought blizzard-like conditions to parts of the Midwest early Monday, grounding hundreds of flights and causing slick roads for commuters as they returned to work after the Thanksgiving weekend. CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports the Coast Guard is urging people to stay away from Lake Michigan, where waves could reach as high as 18 feet.
The National Weather Service said 7.5 inches of snow fell at Chicagos OHare International Airport and 4.9 inches fell at Midway International Airport. The Chicago Department of Aviation reported early Monday that, on average, departures were delayed by 77 minutes out of OHare.
What are you gonna do? Its the weather: Snow brings massive cancellations on busy travel days
The flight-tracking website FlightAware reported 875 flights headed to or from the U.S. were canceled. One Chicago native trying to fly to Orlando, Florida, chided himself for not heeding the weather forecast, but maintained his sense of humor.
Snow: 1,200+ flights canceled as storm snarls busy post-Thanksgiving Sunday
“I knew it was right around the corner, and behold I stayed that one extra day and paid the price. So I was able to spend the evening here at beautiful OHare and had plenty of company,” said Mark McCoy, referring to all the other travelers stranded at the travel hub. “Its all part of the Thanksgiving travel experience when youre flying somewhere.”
Latest Meso-scale discussion pinpoints the onset of blizzard conditions in western Illinois that will impact the Chicago area later tonight
Heavy snow continued through the early hours of Monday, slamming the Chicago area with up to a foot of snow. Whiteout conditions stalled commuter traffic on the roads.
Along with the fast-falling snow, strong wind gusts will kick in, and will cause whiteouts and blowing and drifting. Wind gusts will frequently reach 40 mph, and may hit 50 mph at times from the north. These winds will continue overnight, creating dangerous conditions even with the snow being over.
The storm also dumped wet snow on parts of Michigans Lower Peninsula, creating treacherous driving conditions. Police responded to dozens of crashes Monday morning in the Lansing area.
Authorities warned that roads were icy and covered with snow and encouraged people to stay off the roads unless travel was essential. Further south, Gov. Jeff Colyer declared a state of emergency in Kansas on Sunday after 2 to 14 inches of snow fell in parts of the state.
The winds should improve by 6 AM Monday, resulting in improving travel conditions. Even after the Blizzard Warning expires, continue to take it slow and travel with a lot of caution until the winds fully die down and the roads are cleared.
The state Department of Transportation reported several road closures Monday, mostly in the extreme northeast, but said a stretch of Interstate 70 that had been closed on Sunday was reopened. The weather service said that 3 to 9 inches fell across northern Missouri on Sunday.
Midwest snowstorm cancels hundreds of flights as holiday weekend winds down
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported multiple fender-benders but by midmorning on Monday the Department of Transportation said all roads were opened. Flights were mostly on time Monday at Kansas City International Airport, one day after the storm caused widespread delays.
Roads in much of Nebraska and the southern half of Iowa remained covered in snow and ice early Monday after the storm had passed those states. Several state and U.S. highways were impassable in Nebraska, but traffic was moving on Interstate 29 in the southwestern corner of Iowa and Interstate 80 in the eastern part of the state, despite a blanket of snow.
Roads were slick in northern Indiana early Monday after about 2 inches of snow fell, and more was forecast through the afternoon. Parts of southeastern Wisconsin, just north of Chicago, suffered a glancing blow from the storm, with about 9 inches of blowing and drifting snow.
Blizzard stymies travel across Midwest, as hundreds of flights canceled and thundersnow reported
Over 1,300 flights were canceled on this post-Thanksgiving Monday as a dangerous snowstorm tore through the Midwest before heading to the Northeast as rain.
Airlines were forced to cancel over 1,200 flights on Sunday as snow blanketed parts of the Midwest on the busiest travel weekend of the year.
Blizzard Set To Hit Chicago Sunday
Airlines are now overloaded as the cancellations bleed into Monday — and heavy rain is hitting Northeast airports, making matters worse.
There were 1,331 flight cancellations as of Monday afternoon, with Chicagos OHare International Airport feeling the brunt of the impact with 1,084 cancellations.
“What are you gonna do? Its the weather,” traveler David Erickson told ABC News as he waited at OHare Sunday. “You just gotta deal with what they give you and they cant really control the weather.”
Slick roads, blowing snow delay air, road travel in Midwest
Erickson said the most “frustrating” part is to “wait in line and theres no clear answer as to whats next, because the next flights cancelled, as well.”
“The better option, I guess, would have been to drive, but having to drive in the snow is probably not much fun either,” he said. “I guess we just wait it out and see what we get.”
Mick Butterfield, who was trying to fly from Milwaukee to Austin, also found himself stuck in Chicago on Sunday.
“The frustrating thing is really because you cannot actually do anything about it,” he told ABC News. “Youre completely helpless.”
The Transportation Security Administration said it set a new single-day record on Sunday, screening over 2.7 million travelers.
The winter storm brought blizzard-like conditions to parts of the Midwest and the Great Lakes and shut down major highways in states like Kansas, where the governor declared a state of disaster emergency on Sunday.
The declaration came as a large chunk of Interstate 70 shut down due to poor visibility and road conditions.
The weather also shut down parts I-80 in Nebraska as the fast-moving storm created whiteout conditions that made it nearly impossible for drivers to see.
Iowa got the most snowfall among Midwestern states with totals of up to 17 inches, while Rockford, Illinois, got almost a foot, making history as the biggest November snowstorm for that area.
The storm has left the Midwest and is now moving into the Northeast as heavy rain. The storm is threatening to bring flash flooding from Philadelphia to New York City and up to Boston, just in time for the evening commute.
LaGuardia Airport in New York City and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey were already seeing flight cancellations and delays Monday afternoon.
Travel disrupted by Midwest snow | US | Journal Gazette
Around 7 p.m., as heavy rain hits New York City and southern New England, snow will be falling in northern New England.