Thousands of Flights Canceled Thursday as Winter Storm Moves Through Midwest

by TK Sanders
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Large portions of the US are dealing with extensive flight delays and cancellations because of Winter Storm Landon, causing some governors to declare states of emergency. The industry estimates that the storm will affect a staggering 3,600 flights Thursday and into Friday.

Snow, sleet, and freezing rain in the Midwest, especially, is the culprit.

“A large, prolonged and significant winter storm will continue to impact much of the central US. It will move into the Northeast overnight, bringing a variety of winter weather hazards including heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain,” the National Weather Service said Wednesday night.

Kentucky’s and Missouri’s governors already declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm. Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois issued a disaster declaration. Other states like New York have also begun working with various state agencies to prepare for the storm.

As of Thursday morning, airlines had canceled 3,624 scheduled flights. They also canceled hundreds of flights scheduled for Friday. At St. Louis Lambert International, 78 percent of flights were canceled Wednesday. At Chicago O’Hare, airlines canceled 37 percent of flights.

The frigid blast is affecting enormous stretches of the country. States are far west as New Mexico and as far east as Maine have prepped for weather disturbances. But, the South wasn’t immune to the cold air, either. Some school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area canceled classes Thursday and Friday in anticipation.

Earlier in the week, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tweeted that his state “has more than 500 trucks statewide to respond to Winter Storm Landon and 123,000 tons of salt and sand.”

Winter Storm Landon is dumping multiple feet of snow on the Midwest

By Wednesday, some rural towns in states like Illinois and Missouri reported snowfalls exceeding a foot total. The National Weather service estimates that around a third of the entire American population is currently under a weather warning.

“While heavy snow is expected from the Rockies to New England, significant ice accretions will be likely on the storm’s southern edge from TX to central PA,” the NWS said Tuesday. Parts of Ohio could receive up to 18 inches, as well, said the service.

Central Illinois and northern Indiana seem poised to receive the most snowfall. Estimates currently range from one to two feet of snow for this part of the country. About 130 members of the Illinois National Guard were activated to combat heavy snow, ice and “blizzard conditions” over the next few days, according to local news outlets.

“I’m authorizing a disaster proclamation for Winter Storm Landon, effective immediately, to support local government disaster response and recovery operations wherever necessary. I want to assure county and local officials and everyone in the path of the storm that my administration will provide resources every step of the way,” Illinois Gov. Pritzker said.

“On the ground, all state assets stand ready to assist. I encourage everyone to do what you can to stay safe: listen to local authorities to stay up to date with the latest conditions in your community and make sure your household has essentials.”

Outsider.com