Metrodome Collapses; Massive Blizzard Hits Midwest

Harsh Weather Spans Eight States, Closing Roads and Airports.

December 12, 2010, 11:52 AM

Dec. 12, 2010— -- Harsh weather has caused massive road closures across the Midwest, caused the cancellation of all inbound and outbound flights in a number of Midwestern airports and has collapsed the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.

The panels of the Metrodome roof started giving way around 5 a.m. and deflated after the storm, which dumped more than 17 inches of snow on the city, Chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Roy Terwilliger told ABC News affiliate KSTP in Minneapolis - St. Paul.

A Sunday NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings had already been pushed to Monday, as the Giants were stranded in Kansas City, unable to reach Minneapolis after the Twin Cities' airport was closed.

Terwilliger says this has only happened three other times in the Metrodome history, the last being on April 14, 1983.

NFL Spokesperson Greg Aiello says the league has been informed by stadium officials that the Metrodome will not be available Monday or Tuesday. Officials are considering all options including moving the game to TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota Campus.

Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, told KSTP that a crew that had been working to clear snow off the Metrodome's roof was pulled off late Saturday night due to safety concerns.

Workers were being kept out of the Metrodome for safety reasons Sunday morning, but crews were back on top of it late Sunday morning clearing snow.

A blizzard warning was in effect Sunday for Chicago and much of northern Illinois, all of Iowa, large sections of southern Minnesota and Wisconsin, and smaller areas in North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Michigan, according to the National Weather Service.

Wisconsin authorities issued a statewide no-travel advisory Saturday, citing blizzard and winter storm warnings in nearly every county.

At Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport, all inbound and outbound flight canceled, with airport spokesmen saying that one runway will be opened by this afternoon. Chicago's O'Hare Airport has cancelled the majority of incoming and outgoing flights through Sunday morning, with most afternoon outgoing flights currently scheduled to depart.

North Dakota experienced wind chills of 20 degrees below zero Saturday, and the arctic air was expected to drop temperatures below zero by Sunday night throughout the Dakotas and in parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to The Associated Press.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events