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Big Freeze Grips United States, Disrupts Travel

posted 6 Jan 2014, 16:55 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 6 Jan 2014, 16:55 ]

Severe cold weather conditions in the midwestern United States cause flight delays in Chicago andBostonIllinois governor Pat Quinn says conditions are "unprecedented" and "dangerous".

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 6, 2014) (NBC) -  A blast of Arctic air gripped the vast middle of the United States on Monday (January 6) with the coldest temperatures in two decades threatening lives and canceling thousands of flights.

Illinois governor Pat Quinn said the weather conditions were "dangerous" and "unprecedented".

"I'm here to talk about our response to unprecedented weather situation for our state," Quinn said at a news conference in Chicago. "We are deploying all of our resources of the state of Illinois to help the people get through a very serious and dangerous situation. It's not only the cold weather but the combination of black ice and drifting on our roads makes things very very dangerous."

The revolutions of the iconic ferris wheel at the Navy Pier in Chicago was halted because of the snow. The temperature in Chicago dropped to minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 25 degrees Celsius). The last time Chicago was this cold was February 1996.

Some 3,364 flights were canceled another 3,155 were delayed. More than half of the flights atChicago's O'Hare International Airport were canceled and people experienced delays and cancellations at Boston's Logan International Airport and elsewhere.

In Michigan, drivers covered in snow drove their cars on icy roads and people struggled to stay ahead of snow drifts. The National Weather Service reported temperatures reached 20 to 40 degrees Farenheit (11- 22 degrees Celsius) below average in parts of Montana, North and South DakotaMinnesota,IowaWisconsinMichigan and Nebraska.