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Airlines Canceling Thousands Of Flights To East Coast Ahead Of Major Blizzard

Updated 01/26/15 - 9:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The potentially historic blizzard in the Northeast might have missed the Midwest, but it was having an impact at Chicago's airports.

More than 160 flights had been canceled at O'Hare, and another 30 were canceled at Midway airport, the city's Aviation Department reported Monday. Flight delays were also occurring at Midway.

Travelers at O'Hare were bracing for the worst, with the East Coast bracing for an historic snowstorm, which could dump up to 3 feet of snow along the Eastern Seaboard.

Some forecasters have said New York City might get hit with its biggest snowfall ever.

United Airlines said it was canceling all Tuesday flights in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.

American Airlines said it has not yet finalized cancellation plans, but will do so Monday.

As of 3:35 p.m., more than 160 flights had been canceled at O'Hare International Airport, though not all cancellations were due to the East Coast blizzard. More than 15 flights had been canceled at Midway International Airport. Cancellations at both airports were expected to grow through Tuesday.

Travelers heading east from O'Hare were understandably concerned about the East Coast blizzard.

"Makes me think I'm going a lot later today or tomorrow," Simon Schneider said.

Dan McCarthy said he doesn't really have a choice, but to fly East.

"Like most business travelers, I'm kind of at the will of my boss, so I'm hoping for the best," he said.

Many travelers were just hoping for the best as they headed towards the storm zone.

"I hope it's north of there, and not Baltimore, so that I can get in there before things happen, and help out my family when I get there," Cliff Zimmerman said.

The storm is also affected shipping and logistics. Chicago-based Echo Global Logistics normally moves 10,000 shipments a day. For them, a big storm on the East Coast might as well be right here.

"Even though there is a storm right now going on right now in the Northeastern United States, it will impact trucking companies and shippers and receivers of freight as far as Chicago or even California," said CEO Doug Waggoner.

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