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Storm tangles holiday travel

The Great Lakes region gets several inches of snow, halting flights.

December 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

CHICAGO — A storm blanketed the Great Lakes region with several inches of snow Friday, disrupting holiday travel.

More than 450 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport by late afternoon, and delays averaged 90 minutes. Officials urged travelers to check the status of their flights.

Delays at Midway Airport averaged two hours, with about 20 cancellations.

Both runways at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport were closed because of snow for about an hour early Friday afternoon and for at least two hours in the evening, airport spokesman Ryan McAdams said.

Two of three runways were closed at Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wis., delaying many flights and canceling seven, airport spokeswoman Sharyn Wisniewski said.

At Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich., snow caused some ground-radar equipment to shut down, forcing a runway to close to arriving planes for about two hours, said Tony Molinaro, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

Planes were diverted or circled overhead while crews replaced the device, which tells aircraft whether they are properly lined up for landing.

Five to 7 inches of snow was reported across the region. The Green Bay Packers asked for 300 people to help shovel snow at Lambeau Field today in preparation for Sunday's game against Detroit.

Some were elated by the snowfall.

"We love it. Business is wonderful today," said Sara Voegeli, ski manager at the Villa Olivia Country Club and Ski Area in suburban Chicago.

During Christmas, the facility relied on machine-made flakes. But nearly 300 skiers, snowboarders and sledders using inner tubes had turned out by Friday afternoon, drawn by the fresh powdery snow, Voegeli said.

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