As severe weather conditions pummel the central United States region, social media posts reveal crowds of travelers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport seeking shelter within the airport’s Tunnel of Lights. Due to the inclement weather, flights have been canceled at both O’Hare and Midway International Airport, as reported by the Chicago Department of Aviation.
At present, O’Hare has canceled 281 flights, and Midway has canceled 129. Both airports have issued a statement advising travelers to exercise caution.
Kaitlyn Hoch, who was scheduled to travel to Cleveland, Ohio, from O’Hare, recounted that her flight was scheduled to depart at 6:37 pm but was canceled because of the weather. While waiting at the United Club to board, airport staff asked everyone to relocate to the Tunnel of Lights, which connects the United concourses at the airport.
According to Hoch, a few hundred people were crowded in the tunnel waiting for the storm to subside. The atmosphere was described as “super chill and relaxed,” and many individuals took photos and videos of the scene.
Hoch stated, “I fly into ORD almost every Friday. I have never seen anything like this. I fly to a new state each week and have never seen this at any airport.
As of Friday evening, over 40 preliminary tornado reports have been made across six states, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. Hundreds of thousands of residents have also been left without power due to the weather conditions.
According to the local news station WLS, the intense storms caused a roof to collapse during a concert at the Apollo Theater in Belvedere, Illinois, located roughly 72 miles from Chicago. This resulted in multiple individuals sustaining injuries.