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Severe winter storm causing airport closures, flight cancellations

A powerful winter storm that began Tuesday night has been slowly moving across a large part of the country.

Places from the Southwest to the Northeast have been slammed with heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain. Winter storm alerts from the National Weather Service stretch more than 2,200 miles from Dallas-Fort Worth to the Maine-Canada border.

Speaking of Dallas-Fort Worth, the cities’ international airport was closed until 11 a.m. CT Thursday due to very icy conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA also reported that two smaller airports — the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Pennsylvania and the Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in Marion, Illinois — were closed. No reopening times were listed.

Flight Aware reported Thursday morning that almost 4,000 flights within, into or out of the U.S. had been canceled, many of them at Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Other flights have been delayed due to deicing in cites such as Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Akron, Ohio.

Several cities had daily record snowfall Wednesday, including Flint and Detroit, Michigan, with 11.0 and 6.2 inches, respectively; Wichita and Topeka, Kansas, with 5.9 and 4.3 inches, respectively; as well as Columbia, Missouri, with 7.2 inches.

The storm will continue to cause issues from Dallas to the Ohio River Valley and eastern Great Lakes until later Thursday, moving slowly toward the south and east. The storm will continue to affect the Northeast on Thursday night and Friday, especially north of New York City, before moving into the Canadian Maritimes.

Major interstates in the storm’s path include I-35, I-40, I-44, I-55, I-69, I-70, I-72, I-80, I-90, I-65, I-57, I-86, I-81, I-87, I-91, I-93, I-89 and the Trans-Canada Highway. Impacts will include a variety of issues ranging from reduced speeds to major slowdowns, as well as potential multiday road closures.

Major cities and freight hubs in the potential impact zone include Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, Texas; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Dallas-Fort Worth; St. Louis; Chicago; Indianapolis; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Detroit; Cleveland; Boston; Augusta and Portland, Maine; as well as Buffalo, New York.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 20 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Shreveport, Louisiana.

• Interstate 35 from Austin to San Antonio, Texas.

• Interstate 40 from Oklahoma City to Memphis.

• Interstate 44 from Oklahoma City to St. Louis.

• Interstate 55 from Memphis to Chicago.

• Interstate 64 from St. Louis to Charleston, West Virginia.

• Interstate 70 from St. Louis to Pittsburgh.

• Interstate 90 from Chicago to Syracuse, New York.

Credit Freightwaves by Nick Austin

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