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West coast storm moves east

At least 600 flights headed through Chicago's O'Hare field were canceled

CHICAGO | January 21, 2012

Hundreds of flights have been canceled at Chicago-area airports due to a storm bringing about an inch of snow per hour, the National Weather Service said.

FlightAware, which provides airline tracking information, said at least 600 flights headed through Chicago's O'Hare field were canceled. Southwest Airlines canceled 70 flights at Midway International between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in anticipation of the snow, which weather service meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss forecast to be between 4 to 7 inches, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Kook said the storm that is smacking the country's midsection is coming late, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"It's late January; it's kind of surprising it took this long to get these cold ones," Kook said.

The Cleveland area has been experiencing wild temperature swings this winter as other areas of the United States dealt with violent weather.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber declared a state of emergency in four counties as the state battled near-record flooding from snow and then rain earlier in the week, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Hardest hit were small towns near the capital city of Salem and along the coast.

"In a couple of cases, we have had rivers and creeks reach levels of the last big round of floods we had in 1996," said a spokesman for Oregon's emergency operations center.

Rich Thompson of the National Weather Service office in Oxnard said a "relatively weak" weather system bringing rain and gusty winds will move into Southern California bringing rain and hazardous driving conditions, the Los Angeles Times said.

"It's not a tremendous amount of rainfall," Thompson said, estimating about 3/4th to 1 inch will fall.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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