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Chicago’s winter woes: canceled flights, power outages

For the second day in a row Tuesday, O’Hare International Airport was the nation’s epicenter for flight cancellations.

It was just one of the consequences of a a wicked combination of rain, ice and snow that hit the Chicago area on Monday.

As of about 3 p.m. CST Tuesday, 197 arrivals and 75 departures had been cancelled at O’Hare, according to FlightStats.

O’Hare’s number of arriving cancellations towered over that of No. 2 Newark Liberty International Airport, which saw 85 arrivals cancelled. Boston’s Logan International Airport was second highest in departure cancellations, at 66.

More than 800 other travelers in and out of O’Hare experienced delayed flights.

On Monday, more than 1,400 O’Hare arrivals or departures had been canceled and more than 300 were canceled at Midway.

About 1.9 inches of snow was recorded at O’Hare International Airport by the time the snowfall tapered off, according to the National Weather Service. At 2:45 p.m. Monday, wind speeds reached up to 42 mph at the airport.

As of 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, more than 265 flights had been canceled at O’Hare and delays were reported between 15 minutes and an hour, according to the city’s Department of Aviation. At Midway, more than 24 flights were canceled and some delays were averaging 45 minutes.

Comed had restored power to nearly 85,000 customers who were impacted by the storm as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a utility spokesman. About 6,400 customers remained without power as of 2:30 p.m.

The largest concentration of outages occurred in the southern and western regions, including Lee, LaSalle, and Livingston counties. The utility issued a statement early Tuesday saying the majority of affected customers should expect their service restored by Tuesday evening.

The city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed more than 280 snow plows and salt spreaders Monday. The department said it will continue to monitor the weather and adjust resources as needed.

The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated Monday to ensure that state personnel and equipment are ready if needed to help local emergency responders deal with flooding and winter weather.

The Illinois State Police Chicago District also invoked its emergency snow plan. Motorists involved in minor crashes are encouraged to exchange information and file a report in the next 14 days.