PHOTO: Ice storms and airplanes are never a good combination. (Courtesy Flickr/NY Air National Guard)
More than 2,600 flights have already been delayed or cancelled from Friday to early this Saturday morning as a major ice storm has begun in the Midwest and Plains states.
Sleet and freezing rain stretching over a 1,000-mile path from northern Texas, driving north and then curving east into the mid-Atlantic by Sunday and Monday, could leave hundreds of thousands without power and causing a travel nightmare from the air to the roads to the tracks.
"Travel will be hazardous for hundreds of miles along Interstate 35, I-40 and I-70 in the Central states," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.
Of those 2,600 flights delayed or cancelled in a 36-hour stretch from Friday until 8 a.m. Saturday morning, more than 200 alone have come at venerable Lambert Field in St. Louis, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.
Other airports affected as of this morning include Kansas City International and Will Rogers in Oklahoma City.
Even the National Football League playoffs have also been impacted. The league, in consultation with local and state officials, moved Sunday’s divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs from a Noon CST start time to a 7:20 p.m. kickoff on Sunday night, hoping the storm will have traveled out of the area by then and roads would be cleared.
Presumably, that is.
Missouri and Oklahoma have already declared states of emergency and, unfortunately, a 31-year old Missouri woman was killed on Friday in a one-vehicle crash while navigating an icy road.