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1,000 flights canceled due to major Midwest snowstorm

1,000 flights canceled in midwestern US on Tuesday. Another major winter snowstorm has resulted in more than 1,000 flights canceled in Chicago and Minneapolis.

By Reuters / March 5, 2013

Workers remove snow from cars at an auto dealership Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Bloomington, Minn. left by a storm that is crawling east from the Dakotas and Minnesota toward Chicago, with some 1,000 flights canceled.

Jim Mone/AP

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Minneapolis, Minn.

A late winter storm dumped heavy snow on the midwestern United States on Tuesday, contributing to numerous highway crashes and flight cancellations as it moved east toward the Ohio Valley and the mid-Atlantic states.

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More than 1,000 flights were cut in and out of Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports and 107 more were cancelled in and out of Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport, according to the FlightAware.com flight tracking service.

In western Wisconsin, a semi-tractor flipped off an Interstate 94 bridge and fully submerged in the Red Cedar River in Menomonie early Tuesday, said Christine Ouellete, a Wisconsin Transportation Department spokeswoman.

The truck's two occupants have not been heard from since the crash and rescue crews pulled the tractor from the river and were working to get into the cab, said Lieutenant Jeff Lorentz of the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The truck had been headed west, but the eastbound lanes of I-94 have been closed at the site since just after the crash for the rescue crews. The interstate was open otherwise.

Slick roads contributed to numerous crashes and a slow commute across the border in Minnesota. Driving conditions remained difficult along highways in parts of North Dakota.

Roads in northwest Illinois had patches of ice and snow on Tuesday and road crews were bracing in northeast Illinois for the storm, which began dropping snow on Chicago near the middle of the morning rush hour.

Chicago was forecast to get 4 to 8 inches of snow, down about 2 inches from a previous forecast, according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest snow was expected Tuesday afternoon in the region, up to 1 inch per hour, and expected to snarl the evening rush hour.

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