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Midwest blizzard leaves some stranded

Blizzard conditions in the midwest on Thursday delayed holiday travelers and caused hazardous conditions on the roads. Despite the inconvenience, some were glad to see the snow. 

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A man walks his dogs down the middle of a deserted street in the middle of a blizzard on Thursday in Madison, Wis.

AP Photo/Scott Bauer

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The first widespread snowstorm of the season plodded across the Midwest on Thursday, as whiteout conditions sent drivers sliding over slick roads and some travelers were forced to scramble for alternate ways to get to their holiday destinations.

The storm, which dumped a foot of snow in parts of Iowa and more than 19 inches in Wisconsin's state capital, was part of a system that began in the Rockies earlier in the week before trekking into the Midwest. It was expected to move across the Great Lakes overnight before moving into Canada.

The storm led airlines to cancel about 1,000 flights ahead of the Christmas holiday — relatively few compared to past big storms, though the number was climbing.

Most of the canceled flights were at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports. At O'Hare, many people were taking the cancellations in stride and the normally busy airport was much quieter than normal Thursday evening.

Aprielle Kugler said she was considering taking a bus to Des Moines on Friday morning to visit her boyfriend after she had two flights canceled out of O'Hare. Sitting on top of her luggage, the 18-year-old from Wisconsin said her mom shoveled more than a foot of snow out of the family's driveway that morning to drive her to Chicago for her flight.

"It's so ridiculous, it's funny now," Kugler said.

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