Storm engulfs US Midwest cancelling countless flights

CHICAGO (Monitoring desk): Parts of the US Midwest were struck by a winter storm on Friday, causing heavy snowfall which resulted in clogging of road network and closing of schools. Consequently, 1,500 flights were cancelled.

“Snow will make weather headlines from the greater Chicago metro area to Detroit on Friday, with winter storm warnings in effect,” the National Weather Service said.

Many road accidents were reported and Flight cancellations built up fast, especially at Chicago’s O’Hare, one among the sate’s busiest airports.

The Detroit and Chicago metropolitan areas were forecast to receive as much as nine inches (23 centimeters) of snow, with more than one inch per hour falling in Detroit on Friday morning.

Nearly 1,000 flights were delayed and another 1,500 canceled at Detroit and Chicago airports. More than half of the cancellations were at O´Hare, where seven inches (18 cm) of snow had accumulated by noon.

Airlines foretold further cancellations at neighboring airports, allowing passengers to change flight reservations without additional charges.

“We are getting more snow today, tomorrow and Sunday than we have normally gotten in the last few winters at any one period of time,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, encouraging residents to stay indoors.

Outer suburbs of Chicago metropolitan area are already near receiving nine inches of snow Friday afternoon.

Before today this is something experienced by the Windy City in 2011, due to a storm which dumped 20 inches of snow so swiftly that the drivers had to leave their cars along a major road.

Despite claims of officials to be well-equipped to combat the storm with 300 snowplows, yet the city faced dozens of car crashes Thursday evening and early Friday.

Forecasters had anticipated the first round of snowfall to stun evening commutes, particularly in Detroit, tapering off during the night.

The Great Lakes region was expected to see additional snowfall over the weekend, while the current storm was forecast to move eastward to upstate New York and New England regions by Saturday.