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First snowfall cancels more than 325 flights at O'Hare

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Cara Gallagher, 5, has a snowball fight with her siblings Saturday at a park on South Michigan Avenue.


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That first snowfall of winter that blanketed Chicago on Saturday wasn't serious enough for folks to start saving parking spaces with broken lawn furniture, Chicago Streets and Sanitation commissioner Thomas Byrne said.

"I understand it's a courtesy. . . . [But] I don't think [the snow] is that deep yet that you have to worry about getting dibs on parking spots," Byrne said. "I believe once we get in and salt and push the salt away there will be plenty of room for people to park."

By 4 p.m. Saturday, the storm had dumped about 3.4 inches of snow at O'Hare Airport, where flights were delayed an average of 20 minutes and airlines canceled more than 325 flights. No flights were canceled at Midway Airport, where average flight delays were about 30 minutes.

By Saturday afternoon, 175 city snow plow crews had all major streets cleared and had begun work clearing side streets, Byrne said.

The snow and slick roads early Saturday contributed to two fatal crashes and several minor accidents, police said.

At 5:20 a.m., a 21-year-old man died when his car struck a viaduct near 38th and Ashland. In a separate crash at 6:20 a.m., a man died after losing control of his vehicle and striking a beam under the L tracks near Kostner and Lake, police said.

A winter weather advisory will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. The advisory means periods of snow will cause travel difficulties, and motorists should be prepared for snow-covered roads and low visibility.

The next chance of snow won't come until Thursday or Friday, when there is a 20 percent chance of light snow, according to the weather service.

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