A late winter storm dumped heavy snow on the midwestern United States Tuesday contributing to numerous highway crashes and flight cancellations as it moved east toward the Ohio Valley and the mid-Atlantic states.
More than 1,000 flights were cut in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports and 107 more were cancelled in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to the FlightAware.com flight tracking service.
In western Wisconsin, a semi-tractor trailer truck flipped off an Interstate 94 bridge and fully submerged in the Red Cedar River in Menomonie early Tuesday, said Christine Ouellete, a Wisconsin Transportation Department spokeswoman.
Slick roads contributed to numerous crashes and a slow commute across the border in Minnesota. Driving conditions remained difficult along highways in parts of North Dakota.
Roads in northwest Illinois had patches of ice and snow on Tuesday and road crews were bracing in northeast Illinois for the storm, which began dropping snow on Chicago near the middle of the morning rush hour.
Chicago was forecast to get 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) of snow, down about two inches from a previous forecast, according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest snow was expected Tuesday afternoon in the region, up to one inch per hour, and was expected to snarl the evening rush hour.
The storm was expected to move eastward over the Ohio Valley and then the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic states on Wednesday, hitting Washington with its biggest snowfall in possibly two years, the National Weather Service said.
Winter storm warnings were in effect for all or parts of 16 states from the Upper Midwest to the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, National Weather Service spokesman Chris Vaccaro said.
The storm was forecast to move across Ohio and the Tennessee Valley and merge with a developing storm off the mid-Atlantic states that could produce heavy, wet snow overnight and through Wednesday into the mid-Atlantic states that could bring down trees and power lines, Vaccaro said.
“It will be a wet, heavy, gloppy snow consistent with wallpaper paste,” he said.