500 flights have been canceled as a winter storm pummels the American Midwest on the busiest travel day of the year

  • Nearly 500 flights were canceled Sunday as a quickly strengthening winter storm pelted the Midwest on the busiest travel day of the year.
  • A winter storm pelted many areas in the Midwest with ice, rain, and snow causing massive road delays and cancelations at major airports in cities including Chicago, Denver, and Kansas City, Missouri.
  • This year’s Thanksgiving travel was projected to be record-breaking, with over 3 million passengers estimated to be flying the Sunday after the holiday.

Nearly 500 flights have been canceled as a quickly strengthening winter storm pelted the Midwest the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the year’s busiest travel day in the US.

A winter storm dumped ice, rain, and snow, causing massive road delays and flight cancelations out of major airports including Denver, Omaha, and Kansas City, Missouri.

Chicago’s two regional airports were hit the hardest, with more than 300 arriving and departing flights being canceled between O’Hare and Midway airports on Sunday.

O’Hare canceled a combined 14% of its flights as of 1 PM Sunday afternoon, and Midway had canceled just over 30%, according to flight-tracking data analysed by FlightAware.

Read more: These are the 20 busiest airports in the world

Accuweather reported that blizzard conditions were intensifying from southern Nebraska and northern Kansas to northern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin and part of Lower Michigan.

AAA projected 54.3 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving this year, 4.8% more than last year. Of those, 4.27 million people would be travelling by air, and 48.5 million would be driving.

Sunday was projected as the busiest flying day of the this year’s Thanksgiving travel period by airline trade organisation Airlines for America, which estimated 3.06 million passengers would be trying to get home after the holiday, 5.7% more than last year.

State officials issued warnings and closures throughout the day as low visibility and icy conditions took over major highways.

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer declared a State of Disaster Emergency due to the storm after reports of drivers getting stuck and stranded in vehicles.

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