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Snow causes travel delays, flight cancellations

Saturday, December 26, 2009
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The snowy weather in Chicago and around the country is having a direct impact on travelers as another winter storm warning is issued with a possible 5 to 10 inches of snow forecasted Saturday.

Snow in the suburbs

A winter snowstorm hit the Chicago are Saturday and dumped more than a foot of snow on several northwest suburbs and it caught many by surprise.

Saturday night many people are digging out.

In the city, the prediction of one to three inches was correct but it was a different story north and west. The northwest suburbs had gotten the worst of the snow storm.

Arlington Heights residents Brad Thomas and Eric Riggi have been kept quite busy by the nearly 10 inches of snow that fell. These two friends and neighbors have managed to keep their sense of humor, even when one shovels by hand after the snow blower broke and the other is convinced it feels more like two and a half feet.

"I live right over there. I'm the guy with the snow blower so I'm helping the neighborhood," said Brad Thomas.

"I'm about to start round number three," said Eric Riggi.

The storm, initially expected to deliver only one to three inches of snow on the area caught every one unawares, including IDOT. They doubled the number of salt plows on the roads around 1:00 Saturday afternoon.

Airport Cancelations

Sun-Times Media Wire

Saturday's snowstorm has tapered off, but "lingering effects" from the winter weather continue to cause backups at O'Hare Airport, where more than 450 flights were canceled and even more delayed.

Due to "lingering effects" from the storm that moved through the area and weather on the East Coast, more than 450 flights have been canceled at O'Hare as of 8:30 p.m. and all flights are experiencing delayes of two hours or more, according to the city's Dept. of Aviation. At Midway, a handful of flights have been canceled and airlines are reporting average delays of 45 minutes.

Travelers are encouraged to check with their airline before heading out to the airport.

The National Weather Service's winter storm warning expires at 9 p.m., but areas spanning from DeKalb County to the north and western suburbs saw up to ten inches of snow Saturday. In Cook County, the Northwest Side saw accumulations of three to six inches.

More snow may pass through the area Sunday, and temperatures are expected to stay coldwith a high of 22 degrees expected on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Due to the snowy weather, the NWS advises keeping an extra flashlight, food and water in your car in case of an emergency.

Greyhound Delays

As a result of snow storms across the country earlier in the week people who were using Greyhound were rerouted to Chicago and then got stranded.

Some of them have been stuck at the station for three nights.

"My body's aching and it's hard. It's hard not to cry," said Roiann Sparks, stranded traveler.

"Our experience here has been ungodly. We cannot get any assistance. The people won't tell us when the next bus is going. If we ask questions, they tell you get out of the office or you'll be escorted off the property. We've asked for food vouchers. I was told because I bought a biscuit the morning before with the last of my money that I didn't qualify for a food voucher," said Matthew Brill, stranded traveler.

Greyhound released a statement claiming to have offered food vouchers for three meals a day.

The company also said two warming buses were available for stranded travelers so they could get out of the terminal.

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