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US braces for ‘once-in-a-generation’ event; Over 2,000 flights canceled!

As a significant winter storm blanketed the nation, at least 2,200 flights were cancelled nationwide. The National Weather Service (NWS) described the storm as a ‘once-in-a-generation type occurrence’.¬†Forecasters predict that the coldness will last into the holiday weekend, making this Christmas the coldest in roughly 40 years. According to the flight tracking website FlightAware, the airlines proactively cancelled more than 900 flights on Friday and more than 2,200 US flights by 1 pm ET on Thursday, disappointing those who hoped to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones.

Additionally, more than 3,700 flights were delayed on Thursday, which was a more significant number. According to FlightAware statistics, flights were most often cancelled on Thursday in Chicago and Denver. The Federal Aviation Administration announced in a notification that snow and ice prevented an early takeoff at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Flight delays at the airport were averaging 159 minutes.

Major airlines including United, Delta, and American have started waiving costs for passengers who want to reschedule their flights in anticipation of more travel delays. President Joe Biden issued a warning on Thursday, advising Americans travelling during the week of Christmas to exercise caution and depart as early as possible to escape the enormous storm that is anticipated to reach numerous states. ‘This is not like a snow day when you were a child. This is serious business,’ Biden added.

The NWS forecasted that by the end of this week, certain regions of the nation will see bone-chilling lows of -50F (-45C) and -70F. By Friday, this winter storm may become a ‘bomb cyclone,’¬†which is a severe storm that is quickly intensifying. In the Midwest and Canada, the winter storm is anticipated to bring heavy snowfall and ferocious winds that will wreck havoc and knock out electricity.

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