Wintry weather grounds flights at O’Hare, Midway airports

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The city’s full fleet of 280 snow plows was activated as snow fell across the area Sunday afternoon, Valentine’s Day. | Network Video Productions

Wintry weather has led to delays and about 170 canceled flights at Chicago’s two main airports.

The city Department of Aviation said Sunday that snow at O’Hare Airport prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to cancel 135 flights by late afternoon. Thirty-five flights were grounded at Midway International Airport.

The FAA reported average flight delays at O’Hare of about 70 minutes.

Snowflakes began falling in downtown Chicago about noon as the temperature hovered around 18 degrees. Up to 2 inches of snow could accumulate by the time the snowfall stops about 2 a.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

The city sent out 280 snowplows to clear the main routes and Lake Shore Drive, according to a statement from the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitations.The plows will focus on salting and clearing main streets during the snowfall. Once the snow stops, the plows will begin clearing residential streets.

Flight delays at O’Hare were averaging one hour and 11 minutes because of the weather, according to the FAA’s website.

Residents who have insufficient heat in their homes or need shelter can call 311 for help.

Overnight, the temperature will rise to about 26 degrees by 2 a.m., and Monday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 35 degrees, according to the weather service. On Tuesday, there will be a 40 percent of chance of snow and a high of 36.

But the snow won’t be sticking around long — temperatures could surpass 50 degrees on Friday and Saturday, according to the weather service.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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