Arctic cold, high winds cause significant delays on Metra and CTA; Hundreds of flights canceled in Chicago

Icy roads and bitter cold made travel hazardous Friday morning and caused significant delays whether you were driving, taking a train or bus or flying.

The Chicago area remained under a winter weather warning, with high winds kicking up snow and driving down temperatures. The official reading at O’Hare at 11:30 a.m. was minus 4, up from minus 8 hours earlier. Wind chills as low as minus 40 were recorded.


The storm dropped 1 to 2 inches of snow in the Chicago area on Thursday, but the wind and the cold continued to play havoc with holiday travel plans Friday.


More than 400 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport as of 11:30 a.m. and 300 were scrubbed at Midway. Around 70 flights were delayed at O’Hare and around 25 at Midway.


The CTA rerouted buses off DuSable Lake Shore Drive Thursday night into Friday morning because of road conditions. By 11 a.m., express buses were back on the drive. The buses affected were: #2 Hyde Park Express, #6 Jackson Park Express, #J14 Jeffery Jump, #26 South Shore Express, #28 Stony Island, #134 Stockton/LaSalle Express, #135 Clarendon/LaSalle Express, #136 Sheridan/LaSalle Express, #143 Stockton/Michigan Express, #146 Inner Lake Shore/Michigan Express, #147 Outer DuSable Lake Shore Express, #148 Clarendon/Michigan Express.

Orange Line trains were running with delays because of track switching problems at Midway.

Check for updates HERE.


Metra was running on a modified Saturday schedule, but delays were reported on several lines because of switching and crew problems.

On the Union Pacific Northwest line, trains were up to half an hour late because of a shortage of crew.

On the SouthWest line, trains were nearly an hour late because of switching problems.

On the Metra Electric line, trains were nearly a half-hour behind schedule because of switching and mechanical problems.

Check for updates HERE.


As of 11:30 a.m., the Illinois Department of Transportation reported most roads in the Chicago area covered with ice or snow.

Check updates HERE.