Heavy fog forced cancellation or delays of hundreds of airline flights in the Midwest and Northeast on Thursday, stranding travelers and leading to a “big old slumber party” at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
“It’s been nutty here,” Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Lisa Howard said.
About 30 percent of O’Hare’s average 200 arrivals and departures each hour were canceled, and all flight operations were suspended at Midway Airport, Howard said.
Traffic at New York City’s three major airports was disrupted, with Newark and La Guardia hardest hit. Arrivals were suspended for several hours at La Guardia until early afternoon when the fog began to lift, according to the Port Authority, which runs the airports.
The fog enveloped Newark and Kennedy airports during the morning and midday when traffic is lightest.
Even so, the fog - reducing visibility to one-sixteenth of a mile at its worst - inconvenienced thousands of travelers, Port Authority spokesman Bill Cahill said.
Fog also caused delays or cancellations at Boston’s Logan International Airport, Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport, Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport and Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport and Kent County International Airport.
Police reported a flurry of fog-related auto accidents - including a 13-car pileup in Michigan - and blamed the conditions for at least three deaths on the roads.