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- STORY: Chicagoans take wintry conditions in stride
Travelers welcomed sunny skies in Chicago, where more than 500 flights were cancelled at O'Hare and Midway airports on Thursday.
By Friday afternoon, security lines were moving swiftly and travelers were excited to reach their destinations.
"The weather had me a little worried. I thought it was going to be a snow out but it's pretty good," said Brandon Mosley, traveler.
"I was a little nervous but everything seems to be going well," said Leah Cook, traveler.
Aviation officials said airlines worked hard to get passengers back on schedule.
"Passengers are here now because they know they can get on most flights," said Karen Pride with the Chicago Department of Aviation
Earlier on Friday, some travelers who had spent the night at the airport were curled up on seats or cots.
The storm, part of a system that began in the Rockies earlier in the week, led airlines to cancel more than 1,000 flights Thursday and caused whiteout conditions that left roads dangerous to drive on. It was blamed for deaths in at least five states, with parts of Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan hit with more than a foot of snow.
The storm made travel difficult from Kansas to Wisconsin, forcing road closures, including a 120-mile stretch of Interstate 35 from Ames, Iowa, through Albert Lea, Minn. Iowa and Wisconsin activated National Guard troops to help rescue stranded drivers.
However, the City of Chicago said its ramped up snow efforts were being scaled back as of 5:30 a.m. Friday. The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation said it deployed its salt trucks but did no plowing due to relatively milder conditions in Chicago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.