Hundreds of Flights Disrupted as Spring Storm Blankets Midwest

April 14, 2018, 8:14 PM UTC
Virgin America Aircraft Plane Seats
View down the aisle of the coach class section of a Virgin America aircraft in flight, with in-flight entertainment consoles on seat backs visible, September 13, 2017. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Hundreds of flights were disrupted Saturday as a severe spring storm threatened to dump record snowfall on parts of the Midwestern U.S.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has had to slow or halt aircraft throughout the day, contributing to more than 260 canceled flights and about 130 delays, according to Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the airport.

“It’s really a rough day for flights in and out,” Hogan said in a telephone interview. “The biggest problem we are facing is the wind. It is forcing us onto a single runway configuration right now. We have to close that runway periodically to plow it.”

The storm led to a ground delay averaging 2 hours and 29 minutes at Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website. About 53 percent of scheduled departures and 50 percent of incoming flights were canceled or delayed there, according to

Toronto Pearson International canceled about 30 percent of its flights, or almost 450 departures and arrivals, by 2:30 p.m., after giving a warning about the storm. Chicago O’Hare International also had flights affected.

Southern Minnesota and parts of Nebraska could face more than a foot of snow as blizzard conditions barrel through the region, the National Weather Service said on its website. The storm will bring high winds, snow and freezing rain through the central and northern Plains and the Great Lakes areas as it moves east.