Dense fog threatens to snarl holiday travel plans at airports
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE November 21, 2012 12:44AM
Heavy fog blankets the Bartlett area around 8 a.m. Tuesday. | Dan Rozek ~ Sun-Times
Updated: November 21, 2012 1:14PM
A dense, stubborn fog in the Chicago area created some headaches for Thanksgiving travelers as almost 500 flights were either delayed or canceled at O’Hare and Midway airports Wednesday morning.
As of 10:35 a.m., O’Hare saw more than 100 flights canceled and delays were averaging 20 to 60 minutes, according to Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride. Things were improving at Midway, where the fog was lifting, Pride said. Some 30 flights were canceled at Midway, Pride said.
The National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory that will remain in effect until noon for all Chicago-area counties in Illinois and Northwest Indiana.
Meanwhile, Amtrak was gearing up for what is traditionally its busiest day of the year.
“It’s going to be most likely another record-breaking Thanksgiving eve,” said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. “We’ve set records eight of the last nine years, and with that momentum, we have great optimism for another record-breaking Thanksgiving.”
There were no reports of Amtrak delays Wednesday morning. In anticipation of the busy holiday weekend, Amtrak has added extra trains between Chicago and Michigan, and the city out to Western Illinois, Magliari said.
In 2011 Amtrak carried 139,000 passengers nationwide on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
The fog began rolling into the area Tuesday night and became more dense thanks to light winds, clearing skies and a moist air mass, according to the weather service.
The fog will stick around through mid- to late Wednesday morning and will likely “significantly impact” airports, the weather service said.
The fog could reduce visibility to less than a quarter of a mile, or even as little as 100 feet in some places during the morning rush hour, and drivers are urged to take caution.
Contributing: Stefano Esposito