The busiest journey weekend of the 12 months received a bit busier within the Midwest.
Blizzardlike situations in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois triggered a flurry of cancellations and delays on Sunday at Kansas City International Airport and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, making a Thanksgiving weekend journey nightmare.
“As a city, we are used to snow, but it is the first of the season,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago stated at a night information convention. “It is an all-hands-on-deck effort for the city.”
Mr. Emanuel stated he was rallying assets to streamline Monday morning’s commute for Chicagoans. Gov. Jeff Colyer of Kansas declared a state of catastrophe emergency, enabling state assets for use for the response to the snowstorm.
Over 600 flights have been canceled at O’Hare, and over 120 flights have been canceled at Midway Airport in Chicago, in keeping with the flight monitoring web site FlightAware.com.
Because of low visibility on Sunday afternoon, no flights have been taking off or touchdown on the Kansas City airport, in Missouri. Several flights have been scheduled for late Sunday night.
“The accumulation of the snow and ice coupled with the wind has been a lot for our crews to contend with,” stated Joe McBride, a spokesman for the Kansas City airport. “Visibility is improving, but we have too much snow covering the airfield.”
The National Weather Service expected three to nine inches of snow to accumulate in parts of Kansas and Missouri, which faces wind gusts as high as 55 miles per hour.
But the Weather Service expects the storm to have cleared out of Kansas, Missouri and Illinois by the middle of Monday morning, according to David Roth, a forecaster with the Weather Service. The storm is expected to head east-northeast and end up in Maine.
“It will be one of the snowier Novembers on record for Maine,” Mr. Roth said.
The University of Kansas, in Lawrence, canceled its classes for Monday, and Mr. Colyer asked residents to stay home. The National Weather Service also warned people about traveling in the blizzard-like conditions.
“If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you,” it said in a statement. “If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”
More than 50 million Americans were expected to travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving, according to AAA, a 4.8 percent increase from last year.
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