More than 1,000 flights canceled due to massive winter storm

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More than 1,000 flights were canceled on Wednesday as a massive winter storm makes its way across the center of the nation, bringing snow and freezing rain.

A total of 1,527 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were canceled and 595 were delayed on Wednesday, according to FlightAware.

The inclement weather reportedly began on Tuesday night, threatening an area stretching from New Mexico to Maine. Parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan on Wednesday morning began to see snow, sleet and freezing rain, The Associated Press reported.

Michigan is expected to see more than a foot of snow by the time the wintry mix passes through.

“It will be a very messy system and will make travel very difficult,” Marty Rausch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Md., told the AP.

In St. Louis, more than half of the scheduled flights were removed from the board, with Southwest Airlines announcing on Tuesday night that all of its flight operations at St. Louis Lambert International Airport for Wednesday would be suspended. Southwest made a similar decision for its Dallas Love Field hub, according to the news service.

“Around the country, we’re planning to operate a limited or reduced schedule from some cities in the path of the storm but will make adjustments to the schedule as needed,” Southwest spokesman Dan Landson told the AP.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) also declared states of emergency, requiring many schools and universities to shift to online teaching in preparation for the snow, The New York Times reported

“Severe winter weather isn’t something we are strangers to,” Parson said in a statement. “But we must be prepared for the worst.”

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