Dense Fog Impacts Thanksgiving Travel

Dense fog affected more than 700 flights at Chicago's airports

By Lauren Petty and Andy Avalos
|  Friday, Apr 5, 2013  |  Updated 12:36 PM CDT
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Roughly 700 flights were canceled at Chicago's airports Wednesday because of thick fog. Natalie Martinez reports.

Roughly 700 flights were canceled at Chicago's airports Wednesday because of thick fog. Natalie Martinez reports.

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Dense fog continued to roll into the Chicago area on Wednesday morning, affecting Thanksgiving travelers on nearly 700 flights.

A dense fog advisory was in effect until noon for all Chicago-area counties in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. The fog covered the entire metro area, with visibility falling to a quarter mile or less in many locations with temperatures mainly in the 30s.

The impact on the airports wasn't unexpected. The National Weather Service predicted Tuesday evening that fog would roll in and "significantly impact" airports.

Close to two million people were expected to pass through Chicago's airports for the Thanksgiving holiday, and Aviation Department spokesperson Karen Pride advised people flying out of O'Hare International Airport to leave early and check airlines websites.

As early as 6 a.m. Wednesday, flights out of O'Hare and Midway Airport were being canceled or experienced delays. Several incoming flights also were delayed. By 11 a.m., nearly 500 flights were delayed at O'Hare and 158 were canceled. A little more than 200 flights were delayed out of Midway.

"It was terrible, the worst I've ever seen as far as fog goes. It was so thick," Thanksgiving traveler Candace Ashford said. 

"It's crazy, but we want to go home so that's what you do," said Arielle Frederico of Elgin.

On the roads, the fog reduced visibility to as little as 100 feet during the morning rush hour, and drivers were urged to take caution.

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