Snow-Related Delays at O'Hare Continue

By Tanveer Ali and Geoff Ziezulewicz  on February 22, 2013 6:36am  | Updated on February 22, 2013 2:41pm

 Edna Pak, 65, shovels the sidewalk outside the Happy Wash laundromat on West Wilson Avenue in Uptown Friday morning.
Edna Pak, 65, shovels the sidewalk outside the Happy Wash laundromat on West Wilson Avenue in Uptown Friday morning.
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DNAinfo/Geoff Ziezulewicz

CHICAGO — Bad weather here and in other cities is contributing to departing flights being delayed at O'Hare International Airport.

Departures are being delayed by 15 to 30 minutes and arrivals by an average of 99 minutes,  according to Flightstats.

More than 400 flights had been cancelled at O'Hare as of 2:10 p.m., according to Flightstats. 

Midway was faring much better, with little or no delays.

The airport problems are due to storms that dumped snow on much of the midwest this week.

The city was blanketed with a few inches of snow overnight, matching the highest total of the year but falling below forecasts.

About 2.7 inches of snow fell at O'Hare International Airport Thursday night and Friday morning, matching the season's high from Feb. 3-4, National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Ratzer said.

As of 10:30 a.m., more than 300 flights at O'Hare had been canceled, with delays averaging 30 minutes, according to the city's Aviation Department. At Midway International Airport, more than 30 flights have been canceled. Flight delays were averaging 15 minutes. 

Initial forecasts were for 3-4 inches in the city.

Most of the snow fell from midnight to 3 a.m., and while there will be some stray flurries, light snow, and possibly freezing rain throughout Friday, most of the precipitation is over, Ratzer said.

The city's entire 284-plow snow fleet helped clear the streets overnight, according to the city's Streets and Sanitation Department.

As commuters trudged by, Edna Pak shoveled the sidewalk outside the Happy Wash laundromat on West Wilson Avenue in Uptown.

Despite her walk to work taking 90 minutes instead of the usual 40, the spry 65-year-old woman said she didn't mind the snow too much.

"We need it," she said. "Nobody wants it, but we need the snow and rain."

Last summer's drought was still fresh in Pak's mind.

"We don't want the same thing happening again," she said.

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