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Snowstorm Paralyzes Chicago, Disrupts Flights, and Causes Power Outages

A powerful snowstorm has enveloped Chicago, with wind-whipped snowfall leading to widespread chaos. The western and southwestern suburbs of the city have been buried under 4 to 7 inches of snow, prompting the cancellation of nearly 1,000 flights and leaving thousands without power. The National Weather Service (NWS) warns that this storm, with up to 2 inches of snow falling per hour and wind gusts reaching 35 mph (and potentially up to 45 mph), is anticipated to be the most severe this season.

The Federal Aviation Administration imposed ground stops at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, resulting in over 700 flight cancellations, while Midway International Airport reported 257 cancellations. Power outages affected more than 96,000 customers, and Amtrak had to cancel multiple trains. Downtown Chicago rerouted five bus routes, and the city activated warming areas due to plummeting temperatures.

With almost 30 million people, mainly in the Midwest and around the Great Lakes, under winter storm warnings and over 3.5 million under a blizzard warning, the region is bracing for a challenging weekend.