(The Hill) — More than 1,000 scheduled flights have been canceled in the U.S. on Wednesday as the northern part of the country braces for the arrival of a massive winter storm.
According to flight tracking website FlightAware, 1,306 U.S. flights were canceled on Wednesday and 1,914 others were delayed.
The airport that saw the highest number of cancellations was the Minneapolis−St. Paul International Airport, where 193 outgoing and 218 incoming flights were canceled, accounting for 44% and 52% of those scheduled, respectively. The Denver International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport also each saw over 200 outgoing or incoming flights canceled on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service said the latest winter storm is expected to bring heavy snow and freezing rain from coast to coast in the northern U.S., with blizzard conditions forecast in some areas.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area could see snowfall up to two feet for the first time in three decades, according to The Associated Press. Forecasters also said that parts of South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan are expected to see more than a foot of snow.
The massive winter storm has led multiple U.S. states to shut down local government offices and schools as they brace for the impact of the storm. In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz (D) declared a peacetime emergency on Tuesday in preparation for the winter storm and authorized the state’s National Guard to provide emergency services and the State Patrol to assist with public safety.
“As forecasts predict up to 20 inches of snow, I’ve directed state agencies, including @MnDPS_MSP, @MnDOT, and @MNNationalGuard, to take steps to prepare,” Walz wrote in a tweet. “We’re working to ensure we’re ready – and Minnesotans have a part to play, too. Plan ahead, drive safe, and limit travel.”
In South Dakota, meanwhile, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) shut down state executive branches in several parts of the state, directing government employees to work remotely for the time being, the AP reported.