CHICAGO (AP) - Travelers facing canceled flights and closed roads were hoping to finally head to their holiday destinations as a widespread snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of the Midwest moved across the Great Lakes toward Canada.
The storm, part of a system that began in the Rockies earlier in the week, led airlines to cancel more than 1,000 flights and caused whiteout conditions that left roads dangerous to drive on. It was blamed for deaths in at least five states, with parts of Iowa and Wisconsin hit with more than a foot of snow.
While some people went to work on digging themselves out even as the storm continued Thursday, others had less control: They were stuck waiting for word of new flight times.
Most of the canceled flights were in Chicago, where aviation officials said more than 350 flights were called off at O'Hare International Airport and more than 150 at Midway International Airport.
A flight information screen displays canceled flights as passenger walk at Midway airport in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. The first widespread snowstorm of the season crawled across the Midwest on Thursday, with whiteout conditions stranding holiday travelers. The storm led airlines to cancel about 1,000 flights ahead of the Christmas holiday — relatively few compared to past big storms, though the number was climbing. Southwest Airlines scratched all of its flights scheduled after 4:30 p.m. today at Midway. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)