Flights canceled, interstates closed as winter blast rips through Midwest, Plains

by Bryan Brammer · Jan 18th, 2020 1:35 pm

Twitter / @NDHighwayPatrol

Blizzard-like conditions across the Midwest and Plains regions have closed more than 500 miles of interstates and canceled nearly 700 flights at one of the nation's busiest airports as a massive winter storm moves east.

Winter weather advisories for the Midwest and upper Mississippi Valley into the Great Lakes were issued Saturday morning as the National Weather Service (NWS) anticipates a "sprawling winter storm" consisting of heavy snow and 50 mph wind gusts to pummel the region over the weekend.

NWS said the snow and ice will create "life-threatening travel conditions."

Hundreds of miles of interstates 29, 94, and 90 in South and North Dakota were closed.

Nearly 50 crashes and 60 overturned vehicles were reported in Minnesota.

In Lee's Summit, Missouri, a fire truck capsized on an icy road as it was returning from a call.

Several interstates in Idaho were closed due to multiple car accidents caused by slick roads and poor visibility.

O'Hare International Airport in Chicago saw nearly 700 of its flights canceled and an additional 169 fights were canceled at Midway Airport.

A northerly wind will come on the heels of what the Weather Channel has named Winter Storm Jacob, that will usher in an arctic blast on Sunday. According to AccuWeather, North Dakota will be the first to get hit with the frigid air.