Blizzard batters Chicago, dropping more than a foot of snow

More than 1,600 flights are canceled as a blizzard hits Chicago and heads toward the East Coast

A blizzard dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Midwest, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights into and out of Chicago on Monday and cutting off power to thousands.

Winter storm warnings stretched all the way to Maine, but Chicago took a direct hit.

The snowstorm is charting a course toward New England, parts of which may see more than a foot of snow Monday - less than a week after a blizzard dumped up to 3 feet across several states, keeping residents in their homes and planes on the ground.

In Chicago, the latest blizzard created dangerous whiteout conditions and upended travel plans for thousands of passengers into and out of O'Hare and Midway airports. By Monday morning, both O'Hare and Midway had received about 19 inches of snow since Saturday evening.

“Luckily the weather is now clearing up and we can expect clearer skies Monday, though frigid temperatures,” said Ben Deubelbeis, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Chicago.

Deubelbeis said temperatures on Monday evening are expected to hover near zero with a wind chill of minus five degrees.

More than 1,300 flights have already been canceled for Monday, including about 500 entering and leaving Newark, N.J., and nearly 800 entering and leaving O’Hare International Airport. On Sunday, nearly 1,400 flights were canceled at O’Hare.

Boston's Logan International Airport also had about 300 flights preemptively canceled, according to

In Illinois, snow kept wheels spinning and residents shoveling, and police asked motorists to stay off the roads, if possible.

Those who lost power included 50,000 ComEd customers in Illinois and 7,500 from Northern Indiana Public Service Co., the Chicago Tribune reported. In Illinois, power had been restored to all but 2,400 customers, the Tribune reported.

In Iowa, the storm dumped at least 10 inches of snow in Des Moines, and some churches canceled Sunday services to keep parishioners safe. More than 16,000 power outages were reported in Omaha, but most service was restored by early Sunday evening.

Schools were to be closed Monday from Omaha to Chicago to Detroit to Boston.

"We are still in recovery mode from the recent blizzard, and I want to thank residents for their patience as we prepare for the upcoming winter storm," Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement, asking residents to take public transportation if possible. "With up to 14 inches of snow expected, please remember to check on your neighbors, especially the elderly, and always put safety first."

Parts of Massachusetts received three feet of snow last week. Workers are still trying to clear some roads and sidewalks from the last storm, the Boston Globe reported.

In New York, which avoided the brunt of last week's blizzard, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a severe weather warning and the city braced for a slippery mix of rain, sleet and as much as seven inches of snow.

Times staff writer Kurtis Lee contributed to this report. 

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


7:09 a.m. Feb. 2: This story was updated with new information about canceled flights, power outages and the weather outlook. 

6:22 p.m.: The story was updated with new snowfall totals and flight cancellations.

The story was originally published at 5:19 p.m. Feb. 1.