Severe Weather Prompts Hundreds of Flight Cancellations at O’Hare Airport
More than 300 flights were canceled at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Monday after inclement weather caused a ground stop and an evacuation of the airport’s control tower.
The National Weather Service had tracked severe storms in Illinois throughout Monday afternoon and into the night. At approximately 7:17 p.m. local time, the weather service said a tornado had been confirmed on the ground in Arlington, Ill., About 100 miles southwest of Chicago.
About an hour later, the weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for areas north and northwest of Chicago, including O’Hare Airport. Winds of up to 60 mph, penny-sized hail and a tornado were possible with storms moving through the area, the weather service said.
“We are currently monitoring the strengthening of the rotation over the O’Hare airport”, the The weather service said on Twitter, a few moments after issuing the severe thunderstorm warning
The threat of a possible tornado led to the evacuation of the O’Hare air traffic control tower, the FAA said.
Those in the tower were evacuated at 7:22 p.m. and returned to the tower about 20 minutes later, while air traffic controllers in Elgin, Ill., Took over, the agency said. .
Thunderstorms and a possible tornado caused a ground stop at the airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Blockages at boarding gates and taxi delays could be as long as 45 minutes and increase, and arriving flights were delayed by an average of 2 hours and 56 minutes, according to the agency.
As of 9 p.m. local time, 304 flights had been canceled at O’Hare on Monday and 26 flights had been canceled at Midway International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. It was not immediately clear how many of those flights were canceled due to inclement weather in the area.
Bad weather in the Chicago area also caused Monday night’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers to be postponed to Tuesday. The team asked fans who had already arrived at the stadium to clean the seat cups and take cover immediately.
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