US weather causes flight setbacks, cancellations, accidents
The snow, combined with tremendously low visibility and strong wind gusts caused widespread delays and cancellation of flights across the U.S.
About 500 travellers had to spend overnight Tuesday at Chicago’s O’Hare International, the second busiest airport in the United States, after stormy weather cancelled more than 500 flights Tuesday, said Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride. More than 100 flights were cancelled at O’Hare on Wednesday.
Travelers to San Francisco were warned that arriving flights could be delayed up to one hour and 47 minutes because of strong winds.
Area roads have also been plagued by weather-related problems, with numerous crashes and spinouts.
At least 20 highway deaths are being blamed on the weather. Conditions have improved, but highways are still dangerously slippery in some areas.
Also Wednesday, an avalanche in the Rocky Mountains killed two snowmobilers in northern Utah. The Utah Avalanche Center warned people not to venture into the backcountry.
John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Newark International Airport and San Francisco International Airport were also were reporting delays blamed on bad weather. Flights out of Newark, slammed with snow and ice, were running more than three hours late.
On the streets of Seattle, dreams of a white Christmas were a bit murkier. The snowfall was combined with sporadic rain, and then road crews topped off the icy mixture with sand, a method that officials called a green alternative to salting.
Photo: The New York Times