Airlines Cancel, Waive Fees as Winter Storm Gia Strikes Midwest

Airlines Cancel, Waive Fees as Winter Storm Gia Strikes Midwest

The Chicago area could start to see snowfall starting late Friday and going much of the day Saturday as most of IL was under winter storm warnings and advisories, with up to 9 inches of snow forecast for southwest parts of the state.

"We have a strong snowstorm that's stretching 1,400 miles from Kansas to the East Coast", CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. "St. Louis is seeing its worst snowstorm in five years".

A major winter storm is wreaking havoc on millions of Americans this weekend as it carves its way across the Midwest toward the Atlantic. More than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow has fallen in some places around St. Louis.

Baltimore is also in the path of these heavier bands of snowfall, with 4-6 inches of snow predicted for Sunday. It would be the most snow the city has had in a single storm since 2014 when a January blizzard dumped 10.8 inches. An American Airlines flight slid of the runway at a regional airport in Columbia, Missouri Friday afternoon according to a local news report. Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday night to help the state of Virginia prepare. The snow had tapered off by the time the game started mid afternoon, but stadium crews worked for hours before the game to clear the stadium's lot, field and seats in anticipation of a full house for the playoff game.

Forecasters say heavier snow and higher amounts could fall in mountain areas north of Interstate 64, such as Charlottesville and Staunton, Virginia.

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There is a small chance that the southern Appalachians get enough freezing rain and sleet to turn into an ice event Saturday into Sunday.

Drivers weren't the only ones negatively affected by the extreme weather conditions: Dozens of flights were cancelled at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which described the snowstorm as one of the largest on record.

AccuWeather meteorologist Bill Deger said in a blog post: "In much of swath from Missouri to southern OH, this will heavy and wet and a strain to shovel".

The University of Missouri men's basketball game Saturday at the University of SC was moved to Sunday because of weather-related travel problems, the team tweeted.

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