Airlines Cancel, Waive Fees as Winter Storm Gia Strikes Midwest


The tri-state area of Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio is under a winter storm warning, with many areas already declaring a snow emergency before the storm is expected to hit on Saturday, according to Fox 19 in Cincinnati.

Missouri seemed to get the worst of it with a foot of snow falling near Saint Louis and even more in Columbia.

The National Weather Service said that the heaviest snow threat has shifted into the Mid-Atlantic, where 5 to 12 inches of snow is expected through Sunday night.

Drivers weren't the only ones negatively affected by the extreme weather conditions: Dozens of flights were cancelled at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which described the snowstorm as one of the largest on record.

A winter storm that contributed to at least five deaths in the U.S. midwest was pummeling the mid-Atlantic region for a second day on Sunday, bringing snow, freezing rain and power outages.

"For many areas, this will be a long-duration winter storm that lasts more than 12 hours and perhaps as long as 24 hours in some cases", said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Major cities in the zone, including St. Louis, could get more than 6 inches of snow.

The storm moved into Kansas and Nebraska from the Rockies on Friday, then east into Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. If travel is necessary please refer to MoDot's interactive road map here: Missouri DOT Road Conditions.

Some roads were blocked for hours and hundreds of drivers were stranded, with Missouri troopers responding to more than 3,000 calls on Saturday afternoon.

Snow totals are to taper to the northeast with parts of southwest IL forecast to receive up to 9 inches and the Chicago area expected to get between 1 and 4 inches. The highest snowfall totals were in Montgomery City, Missouri, northwest of St. Louis, which was hit with 20 inches of snow. Philadelphia is predicted to get 1 to 2 inches of snow, and there is a possibility of light accumulation in NY along the storm's northern edge. Philadelphia is expected to receive a few inches of snow, but areas north of there are expected to be spared, Orrison said. Trooper Tod Hileman, a spokesman for the Kansas Highway Patrol, said on Twitter on Saturday. But it cited progress Saturday morning as crews worked to clear routes and bring "water and food to stranded motorists". "More cancellations are likely on Saturday and Sunday", airport officials said.

The University of Missouri men's basketball game at the University of SC was also canceled Saturday because of weather-related travel issues, according to the team's Twitter account.