More than 1,500 flights canceled in US as snowstorm slams Midwest

More than 1,500 US flights have been canceled Friday as a winter storm slammed the Midwest with at least 1 inch of snow per hour, CNN reported.

Heavy snow and strong winds already pounded Chicago and Detroit, where public school systems opted not to open Friday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

“We are getting more snow today, tomorrow and Sunday than we have normally gotten in the last two winters in any one period of time,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a Friday morning news conference, adding that the city’s top priority is the safety of residents.

The bulk of flight cancellations affected Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, according to the tracking site

Kieran Sheridan, chief operating officer for the Chicago Department of Aviation, said in a Friday press conference that the city’s airports were “well-prepared.”

About 280 heavy snow equipment operators were working on the airfields at Midway and O’Hare, said Sheridan, who warned travelers to give themselves extra time when heading to the airport.

Four major US airlines — Delta, United, Frontier and Southwest — issued weather waivers for passengers, allowing travelers to change their reservations without incurring fees.

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