Schools closed, flights canceled as winter storm hits Chicago
All public schools were closed and nearly 1,300 flights canceled in the third biggest U.S. city of Chicago Friday as severe winter storm hit the lower Great Lakes region.
The winter storm, which started Thursday night, had brought around 30 centimeters of snow accumulation to some areas in Chicago by 09:00 Friday, according to the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS).
The snowstorm forced mass delay and cancelation of flights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. Nearly 1,300 flights at the two airports were canceled by Friday noon, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
The NWS issued a winter storm warning Friday in the Chicago area and requested the residents to stay at home.
Some businesses and nearly 30 Illinois government offices in the city were also closed Friday.
The city deployed about 280 heavy snow equipment operators to work on the roads to ensure smooth traffic in the heaviest snowfall in Chicago this winter.
The Illinois state government also sent out hundreds of snow removal vehicles to major expressways.
The winter storm Friday also swept Midwestern U.S. states of Indiana and Michigan. Some areas in Indiana had received around 40 centimeters of snow. Local government is concerned over the impact of the snow on traffic.