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Winter storm cancelations continue at MSP Airport; high winds pushing planes to other runways

The situation at MSP will likely be dicey through Thursday, as snow from a powerful winter storm piles up and gusty winds create blizzard conditions.

MINNEAPOLIS — The powerful winter storm that is moving through Minnesota is canceling hundreds of flights and forcing air traffic controllers to use different runways at MSP International Airport Thursday. 

The airport website reflects a pattern of cancelations that began Wednesday morning and continues as the storm gains steam with heavier snow and increasing winds Thursday. As of 1 p.m., 242 flights had been scrapped and 27 were on the board as delayed, but KARE 11's Gordon Severson reports that most of the cancelations were pre-emptive, done by airlines Tuesday and Wednesday based on storm predictions. He says that just 9 new cancelations came in Thursday morning, and shared that airport officials expect the number of flights to pick up as the day goes on.  

Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) officials say high winds at MSP are making air traffic controllers shift traffic to other runways. Normally the east and west runways are heavily used, but conditions have flights using a fourth runway that isn't used as often. Nearby residents "may notice unusual flight patterns when these runways are in use," according to the MAC news release.

The rash of cancelations was not unexpected, as all major air carriers began issuing weather waivers for those whose flights are impacted. 

All those scheduled to board a flight at MSP for the rest of the week are advised to consult the airport website, or call your carrier for the latest information on cancelations or delays. 

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