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Snow Grounds More Than 200 Flights

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O'Hare International Airport

(Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – More than 200 flights have been canceled at O’Hare and Midway airports following a lake effect storm that dumped nearly four inches of snow in parts of Chicago, and more than nine inches in one northern suburb.

As of 8:30 p.m., winter weather conditions in Chicago and blizzard warnings on the East Coast have grounded 175 flights at O’Hare Airport and 40 flights Midway Airport, according to the latest information from the city’s Department of Aviation. No delays are reported for O’Hare, but some flights entering and leaving Midway are delayed up to an hour.

Travelers are advised to check the status of their flights before leaving home, and leave at the airport at least two hours before their departures, according to the department.

As of 2 p.m., 200 snow trucks are patrolling Chicago’s main roads, including Lake Shore Drive, according to a statement from Department of Streets & Sanitation spokesman Matt Smith. The city deployed 174 trucks Friday afternoon and called in an additional 26 vehicles to speed clean-up on major streets, the release said.

Northern suburbs, especially in Lake County, saw the most snow, according to the National Weather Service. Beach Park led the area with 9.9 inches of snow, while totals measured eight inches in Gurnee and 6.1 inches in Evanston, according to snow totals measured about 7 a.m.

The heaviest lake effect snow in the city fell early Sunday, mostly on the North and Northwest Sides, Streets & Sanitation said.

Snow totals fell dramatically south of Belmont Avenue — officials measured 3.7 inches of snow at O’Hare Airport, but just 0.8 inches at Midway Airport.

The trucks will work into the early evening hours and will soon shift from main routes to Chicago’s 3,300-mile network of side streets.

The National Weather Service previously issued a lake effect snow advisory for Cook, Lake and Will counties that expired noon Sunday, according to its website. Only a small craft warning for waters in Illinois and northwest Indiana within 5 miles of the Lake Michigan, the weather service said.

The small craft advisory remains in place until 3 p.m. Monday, the weather service said. During that time, strong winds from the north may reach 25 knots (about 29 miles per hour) while waves will measure up to six feet, with some waves occasionally topping nine feet.

Inexperienced boaters, especially those in smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in these conditions, the weather service said.

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