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By Phil Helsel
A pbadenger plane slid from a runway at the O & # 39; Hare airport in Chicago on Saturday when that city and a strip of the Midwest were being hit by heavy snowfalls, authorities said.
There were no injuries after the American Airlines plane, which had 129 people on board from Phoenix, left the runway on Saturday morning, according to authorities and NBC Chicago, citing the city's fire department.
American Airlines said flight 656 left the concrete surface "due to weather conditions." The pbadengers left safely and the crews were working to recover the plane, the Chicago Aviation Department said.
Due to the snow at night and the winds of today, the airlines in ORD report delays of 50 minutes and have canceled more than 650 flights. The teams are working hard to keep the tracks operational. Check the status of the flight with the carrier. (Video taken last night) pic.twitter.com/OJAapgxnv0
– O & # 39; Hare International Airport (@ fly2ohare) January 19, 2019
More than 650 flights have been canceled at the Chicago airport due to snow and winds during the night, the airport said on Twitter. The National Weather Service said that 5 inches of snow had fallen in Chicago at 9:12 a.m. ET, and 11 inches were recorded in the Kenosha, Wisconsin area.
A strip of the United States, from Illinois to Maine, was under a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service. The weather service says that there is a 70% chance of a foot of snow in parts of northern Pennsylvania and central New York.
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced that the state transit system was prohibiting tractor trailers and buses, with the exception of Interstate 95 in Westchester and Bronx counties, at 3 p.m. Saturday until the storm is over, to help the snowplows maintain clear roads and ensure access by lifeguards. "I also urge drivers to stay away from the roads unless absolutely necessary," Cuomo said in a statement.
"We are going through a worse time and we will overcome it," Cuomo said on Saturday in Utica. "It will be a couple of hard days … The feeling of the wind, when you talk about minus 5, minus 10, less than 15 degrees of thermal sensation, that's serious."
The National Weather Service said cities such as Utica could see heavy snowfalls of 12 to 20 inches, with the highest amount of snow expected between Saturday night and early Sunday morning. A winter storm warning was valid until 4 p.m. Sunday. "Traveling can be very difficult or impossible," said the weather service.
The city of New York was hit by a snowstorm in November that caused a serious traffic jam in the city, and criticized the response and the preparations of the government. The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, said Friday that precautions are being taken.
"We do not know exactly what we're going to deal with here, but we do know it's a real storm," with cold temperatures and potential for icing, the mayor said, adding that officials are baduming that "the worst is not the best ". He called the storm "a constantly changing situation" and encouraged residents to stay informed.
The forecasts for snow and sleet accumulation are 4 inches for New York City under the higher rainfall models, if the storm moves further south than expected. The quantities at the lower end, called the 90 percent probability, forecast snow and sleet beginning in Middletown and Poughkeepsie and extending north, according to the weather service.
The Newark Liberty International Airport said that starting at 5 p.m. it had 83 flight cancellations, and LaGuardia airport said it had 57 cancellations. The JFK airport said it had a total of 162 cancellations.
It is still possible to see up to five inches of snow, and the rain should continue until morning, with very cold temperatures and strong winds that will arrive tomorrow afternoon around 2 PM. Again, we urge you to be careful if you have to travel tomorrow.
– Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 19, 2019
A public information officer for the Indiana State Police on Saturday tweeted that the safest place for drivers during the next 24 hours is at home.
The governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, ordered a state of emergency that took effect at noon on Saturday. The weather service warned of a growing threat of "significant accumulation of ice" along and north of Interstate 78, which runs through the center of the state to Newark and New York City.
Boston could see between 4 and 6 inches of snow, and some parts of northwest Mbadachusetts could be between 8 to 12 inches, According to the meteorological service.. Hartford, Connecticut, could get between 4 to 6 inches. Portland, Maine, could see Between 12 and 18 inches of snow..
The snow did not stop some of the Midwest from enjoying the outdoors. Celeste Tremmel, 56, was training for a marathon in Detroit on Saturday in the middle of several inches of snow.
"When you run a marathon, you run no matter the weather," he told the Associated Press. She said that running in the snow is "like running in the sand, so you have to go much slower."
The governor of Kansas also declared a state of emergency due to the storm on Friday.
On Saturday, around 6 am, an equipment operator of the state's transportation department was killed in a rollover accident while performing snow removal operations on a highway in Johnson County, south of Kansas City, according to the agency. and NBC affiliate KSHB of Kansas City. The cause of the single-vehicle accident is still under investigation, and it is not clear if it was weather related.
The secretary of KDOT, Julie Lorenz, called the experienced and dedicated worker. "I have extended my thoughts and prayers to the entire KDOT family this morning." The worker was identified as Stephen Windler, 24 years old.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.