Chicago, United States (4E) – A massive winter snowstorm spoiled travelers’ Christmas holiday plans in several parts of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota when it dumped 30 centimeters of snow in the US Midwest on Thursday, halting air and road traffic and stranding hundreds and thousands of passengers.
One of the world’s busiest O’Hare airport in Chicago cancelled more than 150 flights and delayed several others up to four hours. Smaller airports in Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota also forced to cancel flights on Thursday morning.
The region’s first major storm, while moving eastward, damaged power lines on its path and left thousands of homes in cold and dark. Washington and Wyoming states have also witnessed snow on Wednesday.
As part of storm preparations, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has sought the National Guard’s help and issued a state of emergency in the state.
The National Weather Service, in its report, said that some places recorded the snow hills as high as 121cm, urging citizens to stay inside their houses as travelling could be potentially life threatening if forced stranded. “Emergency services and rescues could be halted for a period of time during the height of the storm,” the agency warned.
The agency has also issued warnings of possible blizzard in Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois. “Highways were a mess because it started as rain then changed to snow,” Pat Slattery, a spokesman for the National Weather Service who works in Kansas City, Missouri, told AFP.