UPDATE: Storm cancels Indy flights, triggers mall closings, snarls traffic

December 26, 2012

The winter storm hitting Indiana has contributed to numerous flight cancellations at Indianapolis International Airport and business closing in central Indiana as state police plead with motorists to stay off roads.

The airport expected to have about 300 passenger flights arriving or departing on Wednesday, but airport spokesman Carlo Bertolini says about a third of those have been cancelled before midmorning.

Bertolini says about 20 flights departed Wednesday morning.

He says the Indianapolis airport's runways were open but that the storm's size was causing troubles at airline hubs as well.

Bertolini says it could take a few days to get travelers on other flights since most planes are at least 85 percent filled around Christmas. He recommends that travelers check with their airlines before heading to the airport.

In the Indianapolis area, mall operator Simon Property Group announced at midmorning that its shopping centers would be closed for the day. They include The Fashion Mall, Hamilton Town Center, Clay Terrace, Circle Centre, Greenwood Park Mall, and Washington Square Mall. The company said that it hoped to reopen the properties at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

In addition, officials across southern and central Indiana are asking people to stay off the roads as the strong winter storm moves through. A crash involving at least three semitrailers and two other vehicles amid the snow storm has caused a long backup on Interstate 65 near Lafayette.

Indiana State Police say Wednesday morning's crash in the southbound lanes caused some injuries, but details weren't immediately available. The crash happened as the area saw heavy snow and winds that reduced visibility for drivers.

The crash left one vehicle pinned between two semis, including one that slid to a stop along the highway's median guardrail.

Much of the state remains under a blizzard warning from the National Weather Service and at least a dozen counties are warning drivers to only travel in emergencies.


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