Winter storm crashes into Midwest

Several inches of snow have caused hundreds of delayed flights and traffic jams as a massive snowstorm sweeps through the Midwest.

Posted: Feb 10, 2018 12:21 PM
Updated: Feb 10, 2018 12:21 PM

More than 1,500 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 pounded Chicago and Detroit, where public school systems opted not to open Friday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

"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 morning 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."

About 23 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, and between 2 to 4 inches through the weekend, forecasters said. Much of northern Illinois had seen between 8 and 12 inches of snow by Friday afternoon, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.

The bulk of flight cancellations affected 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.

Four major US airlines -- Delta, United, Frontier and Southwest -- 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 was 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
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Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
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Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
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Grant95134
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Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
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Morgan73438
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Montgomery51121
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Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
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Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
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Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 151802

Reported Deaths: 4746
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin27119607
Cuyahoga17554656
Hamilton13237315
Montgomery7938164
Lucas7343364
Butler6085111
Summit5366252
Warren311549
Marion311147
Mahoning3095281
Stark2913175
Pickaway267944
Lorain233386
Delaware230621
Fairfield213253
Licking194963
Columbiana194080
Wood192172
Trumbull1916132
Clark183940
Clermont174423
Lake164851
Greene149034
Medina147539
Miami146351
Allen146269
Portage116866
Mercer113218
Erie95947
Tuscarawas94120
Wayne94068
Richland92219
Ross89624
Madison84312
Darke80643
Geauga72649
Athens7242
Belmont72427
Hancock72010
Lawrence67122
Ashtabula66048
Shelby66010
Putnam61923
Auglaize6119
Sandusky58020
Huron5557
Union5512
Scioto5167
Seneca48814
Ottawa47130
Preble44515
Muskingum4383
Holmes3959
Jefferson3384
Henry33414
Defiance33012
Champaign3133
Logan3133
Clinton30213
Perry3009
Brown2922
Knox28815
Washington26223
Jackson2616
Morrow2612
Fulton2591
Hardin25713
Crawford2476
Ashland2464
Coshocton23411
Fayette2336
Highland2303
Williams2143
Wyandot21312
Pike2020
Gallia19613
Meigs17610
Guernsey1738
Hocking1679
Carroll1527
Adams1364
Van Wert1243
Monroe11018
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Noble340
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