(CHICAGO) -- A winter blizzard of historic proportions in Chicago is causing flights to be canceled, schools closed for the first time in over a decade, and drivers stranded.
Officials are slowly trying to get things back on track at the airports. Tuesday night they were virtual ghost towns. All the airlines had shut down their operations with the exception of a few international flights coming inbound. Now, about a third of flights are able to come in and out of Chicago's two major airports, O'Hare and Midway, but it may take several days before the runways are completely plowed and normal operations can resume.
On the ground, over a foot and a half of snow left drivers in the Windy City stranded.
The city's done a pretty remarkable job of clearing the main streets and highways. Its those side streets that may take a few days before the crews from the streets and sanitation department can arrive but the main thoroughfares remarkably good considering there has been 20 inches of snow in just a few hours.
What's really remarkable is the scene on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive, an iconic stretch of highway along Lake Michigan. As many as 900 cars were trapped there due to a series of accidents just as the snow started falling, leaving those cars trapped. Many people were stuck inside them for seven to nine hours until they could be rescued by Chicago firefighters.
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