February 4, 2023

Travel nightmare: Thousands of flights cancelled amid dangerous storm

A massive storm is bringing blizzard conditions and icy roads to the U.S. right as the holiday travel rush gets underway.

Cancellations, delayed deliveries and outages

Over 4,500 flights are canceled within, into or out of the U.S. so far on Friday.

FedEx and UPS warned that customers could see delays on Christmas deliveries due to the weather’s impact on major shipping hubs.

PHOTO: Passengers check in at the Delta counter at Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, Michigan, Dec. 22, 2022.

Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Passengers check in at the Delta counter at Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, Michigan, Dec. 22, 2022.

PHOTO: Travelers arrive for their flights at the United Airlines Terminal 1 ahead of the Christmas Holiday, at O'Hare International Airport, Dec. 22, 2022, in Chicago.

Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

Travelers arrive for their flights at the United Airlines Terminal 1 ahead of the Christmas Holiday, at O’Hare International Airport, Dec. 22, 2022, in Chicago.

More than 1.5 million customers are without power in the U.S. and states of emergency have been declared from South Dakota to New York.

“This is really a very serious weather alert,” President Joe Biden warned Thursday. “Please take this storm extremely seriously.”

PHOTO: Traffic and snow maintenance vehicles clear the roadway as a traffic sign cautions drivers about the conditions along State Highway 14/18, Dec, 22, 2022, in Madison, Wis.

John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP

Traffic and snow maintenance vehicles clear the roadway as a traffic sign cautions drivers about the conditions along State Highway 14/18, Dec, 22, 2022, in Madison, Wis.

PHOTO: Vehicles travel along Interstate 44 as snow begins to fall and temperatures drop Dec. 22, 2022, in St. Louis.

Jeff Roberson/AP

Vehicles travel along Interstate 44 as snow begins to fall and temperatures drop Dec. 22, 2022, in St. Louis.

Danger on the roads

State police, including in New York, Illinois and Michigan, are urging people to stay off the roads.

The Michigan State Police said nine semi-tractor trailers crashed on Interstate 94 in Berrien County, where “visibility is near zero.” A seven car pileup was reported in the same area, according to police.

Latest forecast

The storm barreled across the Midwest and Great Lakes on Thursday.

PHOTO: A Chicago Transit Authority train arrives at the Roosevelt train station as the leading edge of a winter storm begins in Chicago, Dec. 22, 2022.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

A Chicago Transit Authority train arrives at the Roosevelt train station as the leading edge of a winter storm begins in Chicago, Dec. 22, 2022.

PHOTO: A man walks along Lake Michigan at sunrise as temperatures hover about -6 degrees, Dec. 22, 2022 in Chicago.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

A man walks along Lake Michigan at sunrise as temperatures hover about -6 degrees, Dec. 22, 2022 in Chicago.

Blizzard conditions will continue in the Great Lakes into Friday.

Several feet of snow could drop in Michigan and western New York.

Only a few inches of snow is expected for the rest of the Midwest. But the combination of the snow, wind and brutal cold will make travel extremely dangerous throughout the day Friday.

Meanwhile, heavy rain invaded the Northeast Thursday night, flooding roads from Virginia to New York.

The heavy rain is ongoing in New England.

As the temperature plunges on Friday, roads could turn to ice, so those hitting the road for the holidays should use extreme caution.

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