• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

Bitter cold slaps northern Ill. residents

December 21, 2008 12:05:29 AM PST
It's not snow but bone-chilling cold that's the biggest danger this weekend.The national weather service says there's little chance of heavy snow, so it's canceled a storm watch for northern Illinois.

But meteorologist Amy Seeley says temperatures will plummet to dangerous lows starting Saturday night.

They'll fall to around five degrees below zero late Sunday. And wind gusts of 30 miles an hour will make it feel 20 below.

A storm late in the week knocked out power to thousands. And this weekend's cold and wind could again damage power lines.

Meteorologists also warn that ice jams on rivers in the Quad Cities and Rockford areas could cause

Central and southern Illinois should be spared the worst of this weekend's frigid weather.

Chicago's O'Hare Airport was almost back to normal for pre-holiday travel Saturday, after authorities cancelled 300 flight's because of Friday's storm.

The flight boards showed a few cancellations Saturday afternoon, but the good news for passengers was that almost all flights were able to leave.

The terminal was a bit crowded Saturday evening, but after Friday's scrubbed flights and delays, travelers were grateful to be leaving with few problems.

"It's easy. Simple. Just walk in, print out your boarding pass, and I'm out," said Marvin Housley of Austin, Texas.

"Actually, [it's] very smooth. It's not been too bad. We got checked in. We're going through security, and hopefully, no delays today," Tom Rappette of Yorkville, Illinois said.

"It's been easier than I thought so far. I don't want to speak too soon," said traveler Kelly Peacock said.

The happiest passengers were those flying to Florida, California, Texas, or other states that are enjoying much warmer weather than those in the Chicago area.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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