As Hurricane Sandy surges toward the East Coast, Chicago airports and local weather patterns are already feeling the effects from four states away.
At O'Hare, thousands of flights were canceled for travelers going to or from the East Coast. NBC Chicago reports that United Airlines canceled 3,700 flights—or 16 percent of its trips system-wide—Sunday through Wednesday. American Airlines, meanwhile, shut down 1,500 of their flights. The airport was so congested with stranded travelers, cots were set up to accomodate the crowds, according to NBC.
Midway is slightly less affected, with only a dozen or so flights canceled, according to the Associated Press. Even regional trains were affected, with Amtrak canceling Northeast Corridor services Monday.
CBS Chicago notes that some airlines are waiving flight change fees for travelers put out by hurricane delays.
The flight backlog created by the hurricane may take extra long to clear, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, as the storm may not completely exit the Northeast until the weekend.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued storm warnings and Lakeshore flood warnings for the area, along with wind and hazardous weather advisories. Remnants of the hurricane are forecast to move across the eastern Great Lakes over the next several days. As of Monday morning, the flood warning is in effect from Monday night through Wednesday.
Wind gusts of up to 50-60 miles per hour are possible, while waves along the Lakeshore could rise 15 to 20 feet in Cook County.