Plane Slides off runway as a snowstorm sweeps across US Midwest
Snow and icy rain ground flights, forces schools to shut and cause hazardous travel conditions for thousands of commuters.
A winter storm moving across the US Midwest and Great Lakes region has sparked severe weather warnings – forcing a plane to slide off a runway and grounding hundreds of flights.
A Delta plane with 70 passengers and crew which landed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport ended up in the snowy grass while it was turning from the runway to a taxiway on Sunday. No injuries were reported.
“You know, they did a good job keeping everyone calm and got us all off the plane in an orderly fashion,” said Scott Erickson, a passenger.
“People on the ground were awesome, too. Helping you off the plane and on the bus, off the bus. Telling you exactly where to go, so they did a good job,” he added.
Snow and icy rain have caused dangerous travel conditions as areas including Chicago have seen six inches of snowfall.
Up to 10 inches are expected to fall in parts of Michigan.
At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, more than 1,200 flights were cancelled as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Flightaware tracking service.
Further to the east, parts of Vermont could see up to a foot of snow, while New Hampshire and Maine could get up to nine inches.
Schools have been forced to close, while the University of Connecticut has postponed some final exams.
Motorists have been warned to be extra vigilant due to the hazardous commuting conditions.
It’s a “slap of reality” after a mild November, said National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Schmidt.
“The best advice is just to stay off the road if you can, and otherwise go slow and give yourself more time to reach your destination,” the NWS advised.
“If you don’t have to drive or go somewhere, stay home.”
Temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below average are expected to follow the cold rain and snow in the coming days through much of the Midwest and East.