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Snowstorm hammers U.S. Midwest, hundreds of flights canceled

A major winter storm pounding the U.S. Midwest on Friday forced cancellation of hundreds of flights as heavy snow and plummeting temperatures threatened to bring travel to a standstill across the region. The storm system stretching from western Montana to southern Michigan could drop up to 14 inches (36 cm) of snow in some areas, the National Weather Service said. The heavy snow is forecast to move into upstate New York and New England by early Saturday. Chicago was blanketed with six to nine inches (15 to 23 cm) on Friday morning in the heaviest snowfall across the metropolitan area since at least late 2016, said Todd Kluber, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Chicago. In Detroit, weather forecasters warned that snow could fall at a rate of more than one inch (2.5 cm) an hour as it heads east. The National Weather Service said the system could drop up to 14 inches (36 cm) of snow in some areas. The heavy snow is forecast to move into upstate New York and New England by early Saturday. City officials announced school closures in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee because of the weather. About 1,250 U.S. flights were canceled, with about one in five flights into or out of Chicago and Detroit airports called off, according to FlightAware.com, which tracks airline traffic. United Airlines said on Twitter that waivers were in effect for snow-hit areas this week, allowing travelers to change flights without charges. Delta Air Lines offered to re-book flights on Friday for 18 Midwest cities. Wind chill temperatures were expected to drop below 0 Fahrenheit (-18 C) in many areas across the region, and officials warned of limited visibility on roads. The central and northern Rockies also will see heavy snow, the weather service said. Winter weather this week killed people in accidents in the Midwest, including six in Iowa, two in Missouri and one in Montana, local media in those states reported. (Additional reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington and Frank McGurty and Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Peter Graff and Phil Berlowitz)

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Seven Corners is one of the industry's most experienced travel health insurance providers. The company serves leisure, student, business, government and missionary/volunteer travelers. It offers an extensive selection of international medical and travel insurance policies to U.S. citizens traveling overseas, or foreign nationals visiting the United States. Seven Corners has thousands of policy holders and a worldwide network of over 30,000 agents. The company created and maintains the industry's most comprehensive network of international health care providers that includes thousands of doctors, pharmacies and hospitals around the globe. Seven Corners is a member of the United States Travel Insurance Association; is GSA certified and is currently pursuing a SAS 70 Type II compliant designation. In addition to travel medical insurance, Seven Corners also offers health care administration to the government sector. The company is privately held and headquartered just north of Indianapolis in Carmel, IN.