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Hundreds of flights canceled nationwide as snowstorm blasts Midwest

Snowstorm cancels hundreds of flights across U.S
Posted at 3:18 PM, Nov 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 11:52:20-05

A wintry storm is battering much of the central Midwest early Monday, bringing blizzard-like conditions that have grounded hundreds of flights and closed major highways at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Chicago Department of Aviation reported early Monday that average departure delays at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport are 77 minutes, and the flight-tracking website FlightAware reported that more than 350 flights headed to or from the U.S. were canceled.

Heavy snow was expected to continue through the early hours of Monday with up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow expected in Chicago, including and wind gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph) likely to cause whiteout conditions, according to The National Weather Service.

Forecasters predict more than a foot of snow is likely in southeast Nebraska, northeast Kansas, northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa. Downed tree limbs and power lines will continue to cause power outages.

In Kansas, Gov. Jeff Colyer issued a state of emergency declaration on Sunday. The action came as a large stretch of Interstate 70, spanning much of the state, was closed between Junction City and WaKeeney.

Separately, a portion of Interstate 29 was shut down in Missouri, near the Iowa border.

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect from central Missouri into eastern Michigan.

The delays have had impacts for fliers returning home even to the Valley.

Maia Warren said she encountered massive delays in Los Angeles while en route to Phoenix.

"It was pretty busy; I saw long lines...there were delays, delays, delays. I got to the airport about two hours early just in case," Warren said.

Travel by roadway isn't much better, although gas prices in Arizona are starting to trend lower, now sitting at an average of $2.84 per gallon, according to AAA. That's down 8 cents a gallon from a month ago.

"It does matter, every penny does," said driver Robert Floyd.

As the price of oil plunges, gas prices are heading lower across the country, to varying degrees.

"It's part of my budget inside of my household," Floyd said. "I do pay attention to it."

Experts say Arizona isn't yet seeing as steep a drop in prices as some other states across the country, but that could change in the coming weeks.