February 21, 2011 in Nation/World

Midwest hunkers down as storm moves in

Chris Williams Associated Press
 

MINNEAPOLIS – Hundreds of flights were canceled at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and officials in several states advised people to stay off the highways as a winter storm blew through the upper Midwest on Sunday.

Even before the worst of the storm hit, Delta Airlines canceled about 700 flights to and from the Twin Cities airport and other airlines thinned out their schedules, said airport spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski. She said Sunday afternoon that the storm had shut down two of the airport’s four runways.

In Detroit, airlines canceled roughly 230 flights though the city’s Metro Wayne County Airport, while more than 200 flights through Chicago’s O’Hare airport were off.

The National Weather Service reported blizzard conditions in western Minnesota and issued a winter storm warning for the rest of the southern half of the state.

It was part of a storm that stretched from Montana to Michigan and was moving east. The National Weather Service predicted it would bring a wintry mix across the upper Midwest for several days.

Weather service forecasters predicted the storm would drop 10 to 15 inches of snow on Minneapolis by this afternoon.

As the storm moved east, it also prompted travel warnings in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation warned that roads could become impassible due to a mix of snow, freezing rain and ice.

In Michigan, state police cautioned that a mix of snow and freezing rain was expected through midday today in the southwestern part of the state.

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