Winter rakes the Midwest; Major snowstorm headed for New England, for 3rd straight weekend
by Scott Neuman
February 22, 2013 8:31 AM
Scene along I-35 near Kansas City on Thursday.
The biggest winter storm this season is causing delays and cancellations, and has brought traffic to a near-standstill in the Plains and Midwest, but it's providing much-needed relief for drought-stricken farmers.
According to Weather Underground Chief Meteorologist Jeff Masters, Wichita has its fifth biggest snowfall on record.
Winter Storm Q has dumped up to 17 inches of windswept snow in parts of Kansas and Missouri and is expected to extend its reach well into the Midwest on Friday.
Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, says major highways have been reopened, but police are still checking for any drivers who might be in trouble.
Teams from the Kansas National Guard are also patrolling state highways.
DES MOINES, IOWAResidents from Texas to Wisconsin are digging out from a major snow storm that is being blamed for two deaths, has shuttered airports, cancelled flights and made the morning commute a nightmare.
The storm has dumped more than a foot and a half of snow in some areas and just inches in others but those affected were united by one thing Friday: difficult travel conditions.
Numerous accidents and two deaths were being blamed on the icy, slushy roadways. Powerful wind gusts created large snow drifts on many roadways, making navigating the slick conditions a challenge. Accidents and slide-offs were reported from Kansas to Michigan as the storm pushed east Friday.
About 270 flights in and out of Chicago's two airports were cancelled Friday morning. Inbound flights at the region's busiest air traffic hub were being held up by an average of 90 minutes due to the snow and ice, according to the airline tracking website FlightAware.com. In St. Louis, more than 320 flights at Lambert Airport were cancelled
Cancellations top 2,100 as storm snarls U.S. flights
Flight cancellations piled up in the Great Lakes this afternoon (Feb. 22) as a strong winter storm moved east out of the Great Plains. On Thursday, that same storm caused more than 1,000 cancellations and forced the Kansas City airport to close for much of the day.
FLIGHT TRACKER: Is your flight on time?
TWITTER: Winter storm threatens 20 states, 60 million residents
Nationwide, FlightStats counted more than 2,170 cancellations since Thursday, with the bulk of that tally coming at airports in the storms path.
The airports that took the biggest hit today was Chicago O'Hare -- the nation's second-busiest airport and a hub for both American and United. More than 440 flights already were been canceled there as of 3:10 p.m. ET today, according to FlightStats.