After a messy combination of rain, sleet and snow descended on Chicago Monday, over a thousand flights were canceled between the city’s two major airports. The outlook does not look good for Chicago travelers, and some were staring down a frosty few days before they would be able to board a flight to get out of the Windy City.
Flight delays and cancellations at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports began being posted Monday afternoon and totaled more than 1,600 by midnight that night. Delays of an hour or two were common, and flights to Denver, Atlanta and Washington were all canceled. Some travelers posted on Twitter that they were stuck in the city until Thursday or Friday due to the poor weather conditions.
That level of cancellations is much higher than the daily average in the U.S., according to ABC News. On an average day, there are around 4,000 flights delayed and 200 cancellations. The winter storm pushed Monday’s rate to extremes. There were at least 2,341 flights canceled across the country and another 6,500 flights delayed, according to NBC Chicago.
As of 10 a.m. EST Wednesday, 985 flights in the U.S. had already been canceled. More than 1,000 flights had been delayed as well. Chicago’s O’Hare led the way again, with 53 cancellations and 48 delays, according to FlightAware.com. New Jersey’s Newark Airport came in second with 47 cancellations, followed by Boston with 35.
The winter storm threatened to affect more than just travelers in the city as well. Winds hitting 45 to 50 mph — and in some cases higher — throughout the day Monday threatened to cut power to some areas of the city. Drivers were warned to use extra precaution during commutes, and that the wet and icy conditions would make roadways extremely slick.