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updated: 2/8/2013 8:44 AM

Storm disrupts flights from O'Hare to east coast

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  • An employee at Trader Joe's in Arlington Heights rolls shopping carts through the parking lot late Thursday afternoon as the rain turned to snow.

       An employee at Trader Joe's in Arlington Heights rolls shopping carts through the parking lot late Thursday afternoon as the rain turned to snow.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Nic Rotondo shovels his driveway on Brighton Place as the snow begins to fall Thursday in north Arlington Heights.

       Nic Rotondo shovels his driveway on Brighton Place as the snow begins to fall Thursday in north Arlington Heights.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

The snow has stopped falling in the Chicago area, but flights at O'Hare International Airport continue to be canceled due to a winter storm pounding the east coast.

Nearly 250 flights have been canceled at O'Hare this morning as the storm that dumped up to 10-inches overnight in Lake County heads to the east coast.

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There, it will merge with another storm system, authorities said. Meteorologists believe it could dump up to 24-inches of snow between Boston and New York before it moves out.

Steady rain changed to snow and hit the Chicago area hard Thursday, leading to a difficult evening commute.

Heavy snow was already coming in by Thursday morning in some communities, prompting the National Weather Service to issue winter storm warnings for Lake and McHenry counties, and a winter weather advisory for Cook, DuPage and Kane counties.

By Thursday evening, snow totals were reported to be 9.6 inches in Gurnee and Beach Park, 6.1 inches in Grayslake, 5.5 inches in McHenry, 4 inches in Elgin and 3.2 inches in Hanover Park, according to the weather service.

The winter weather made for slick travel on area roadways during rush hour, with several accidents reported.

On Thursday afternoon, McHenry County sheriff's officials advised drivers to avoid Route 31 between Crystal Lake and McHenry due to the hill being impassable.

An online IDOT map showed patches of ice and snow on highways in the North suburbs.

Many area schools canceled after-school and evening activities, including Barrington District 220, Hawthorne District 73, Grayslake District 46 and Grayslake District 127, which also postponed a school board meeting. All three campuses of the College of Lake County were closed, and McHenry County College closed early, according to the Emergency Closing Center.

The Round Lake and Grayslake libraries also closed early Thursday.

The snow was expected to taper off overnight with only flurries remaining by the morning.

Today's forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the lower 30s. Saturday was expected to be mostly sunny with highs in the mid-30s, according to the weather service.

More than 225 flights were canceled Thursday at O'Hare International Airport, with many airlines making the decision to do so earlier on Thursday due to the impending weather, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Other airlines experienced delays averaging about an hour, officials said.

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