Conditions are expected to improve Monday as the storm system moves out, but downed tree limbs and power lines will continue to affect people throughout the day. The storm brought blizzard conditions to the Plains and Midwest on Sunday, complicating the busy travel day as Thanksgiving weekend came to a close.
The National Weather Service said the storm has dropped over a foot of snow from parts of the Mississippi Valley into the greater Chicago area, where heavy snow was beginning to taper off as daylight broke. "We strongly recommend that you postpone travel plans, if possible, however, if you must be on the road, make sure your vehicle's emergency kit is stocked, your gas tank is full and your cell phone and charger are with you and someone knows your travel plans".
In Kansas, Gov. Jeff Colyer issued a state of emergency declaration on Sunday. The blizzard warnings cover the north-eastern quarter of Kansas and part of Nebraska, as well as Iowa, Missouri and almost half of IL.
The Chicago Department of Aviation says average departure delays at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport are 77 minutes and the flight-tracking website FlightAware reports that just over 350 flights headed to or from the US were canceled as of early Monday. More than 150 flights due to depart from Chicago's O'Hare Airport were cancelled early Monday, according to the site.
And an approximately 60-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in Kansas has been closed, according to a tweet from the state's Department of Transportation, from WaKeeney to Russell.
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Chicago got several inches of snow overnight Sunday, except near Lake Michigan, where the warmer water prevented snow from sticking.
Whiteout conditions brought low visibility to the small town of Chariton, Iowa, which is an hour south of Des Moines.
The storm was also bringing wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour throughout northern IL, leading to whiteout conditions on area highways.
The winter storm dumped 5.8 inches of snow at KCI Sunday, setting a record daily snow fall. Other schools throughout MI cancelled classes as the storm made its way toward the area.
The winter storm is expected to continue east on Tuesday.
Holiday travelers were facing delays and cancellations at both of Chicago's major airports as a winter storm moved into the area at the end of the weekend.