Winter Storm Mateo Leaves At Least 6 Dead, Hundreds of Flights Canceled

February 11, 2018

At least six deaths are being blamed on Winter Storm Mateo as it delivered a ninth consecutive day of snowfall in Chicago, and snow and freezing rain in Michigan and Indiana.

In Lake County, Indiana, officials reported 4 deaths occurred within 48 hours. According to the Associated Press, the deaths include a  51-year-old woman who passed away after shoveling snow Thursday evening and a 72-year-old man who suffered a cardiac arrest after using a snowblower Friday. Another man, 67, passed away shoveling snow Friday. There were no available details about the fourth fatality. 

One person died Friday following a multi-vehicle pileup on a snowy Michigan road as travel conditions deteriorated throughout the day in the Midwest.

A man in his 60s died Friday from a heart attack while shoveling snow in Naperville, Illinois, just west of Chicago, according to AP.

According to, the wreck involved at least a half-dozen vehicles and occurred just before noon Friday, Fenton Township Fire Chief Bob Cairnduff confirmed. The victim has not yet been identified.

(MORE: Emergencies Declared in Kentucky as Flooding Submerges Parts of Southeast)

Sunday, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport saw more than 200 flight cancellations due to the storm and Midway International Airport saw almost 245, AP reports. Southwest Airlines had trouble de-icing planes and canceled its flights departing Midway, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In Detroit, city road crews worked back-to-back 12-hour shifts since Friday morning clearing major roads, according to AP. An army of private contractors was hired to plow snow off more than 1,880 miles of side streets, the city said Sunday.

In Indiana, 26 counties were placed under travel restrictions, according to

Freezing rain covered roads in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, area, triggering multiple crashes and slide-offs, reports.

Several accidents were reported Saturday evening on Interstate 44 between Joplin and St. Louis, Missouri, and in much of central and southwestern part of the state due to icy conditions.

Another Michigan pileup on I-94 in Kalamazoo County shut down the eastbound lanes and injured several people, reports WWMT. At least 38 vehicles were involved over a stretch of three miles, according to a statement by the Michigan State Police.

A trooper with the Michigan State Police was hospitalized Friday after a pickup truck lost control and smashed into his stopped squad on I-94 northeast of Detroit, AP reports.

The winter storm also caused issues in Montana. After more than a foot of snow fell in Havre, city officials warned residents in a Facebook post that roads were "extremely hazardous," and there were many accidents and stranded vehicles that blocked roadways on Thursday.

MORE: Winter Storm Mateo: 

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

Featured Blogs

Meteorology of Saturday's Colombian Flood Disaster That Killed 254

By Dr. Jeff Masters
April 3, 2017

At least 254 people were killed in the in the city of Mocoa (population 40,000) in southwest Colombia near the border of Ecuador early Saturday, when torrential rains triggered a debris flow on a nearby mountain that surged into the town as a huge wall of water carrying tons of mud and debris. The disaster is the fourth deadliest weather-related disaster in Colombia’s recorded history.

Iconic American Destination Virtually Isolated for Rest of Year

By Christopher C. Burt
March 24, 2017

Half of the village of Big Sur, on the coast of central California, has lost its only access to the north following the demolition of the flood-damaged Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge along State Route 1 (also Rt. 1 or SR 1) on March 19. Although Rt. 1 to the south of Big Sur has reopened to traffic (after mud and rock slides were cleared) it is a long 70-mile journey along the windy but spectacular highway to Cambria, the next town of any significance where supplies can be had. CalTrans (California Department of Transportation) estimates it will take 6-9 months to rebuild a new bridge over the canyon.

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.