Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Storm affecting thousands of flights

New York Airport Blizzard A plane being de-iced. Bruce Bennett Getty Images
Howard Terry | 16 March, 2017, 00:29

A blizzard warning now covers much of the tri-state area, expanding to include New Jersey and southern CT in addition to the five boroughs and Nassau County, as a major snow storm barrels toward the region. It also knocked out power to almost a quarter-million customers from Virginia northward. The Binghamton, New York, area got over 2 feet, while Vernon, New Jersey, had at least 19 inches.

"Normally, with the geography of NY, we normally have it on the east side or the west side". So far, flights in and out of sunny Southern California are mostly on track. A big danger now is the wind chill. In parts of NY state, snow piled up steadily throughout the day Tuesday.

More than 200,000 homes in the Northeast lost power due to the extreme weather conditions.

Plunging temperatures ushered in by the storm that plastered the Northeast turned the snow and sleet into rock-solid ice, leaving roads and sidewalks treacherous Wednesday and making shoveling seem like hard labor. "It's been a insane, crazy winter". The weather service said there is a chance the snow could change over to a wintry mix or rain for a time Tuesday morning, which could limit total snowfall amounts. "The numbers that were projected occurred to the north and west of us, not here thank God", Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The storm comes near the end of an unusually mild winter along much of the east coast, with below-normal snowfalls in cities such as NY and Washington.

Apparently, forecasters with the National Weather Service didn't change their forecast, anxious people would mistakenly think the storm was no longer unsafe. CBS News reached out to the National Weather Service but has not heard back.

By the time it reached MA, it had turned into a blizzard, with near hurricane-force winds gusting to over 70 miles per hour along the coast.

On Boston's Zakim Bridge, a tractor-trailer managed to stay upright after spinning out across several lanes. Over 800 plows worked to clear Boston's city streets, where about half-a-foot of snow fell. John Manley, of Cambridge Public Works, said he prepared for a 36-hour shift.

More than 600 electric company crews in have been working to restore power to more than 65,000 customers who lost power at the height of the storm.

The storm coincided with New Hampshire's Town Meeting Day, a Yankee tradition in which voters in more than 100 communities elect local politicians and set budgets. Freezing temperatures overnight turned much of the rain and sleet that fell into slick ice on the roads, making for a risky morning commute.

But despite schools being closed, shops being shut and flights being cancelled, only seven inches of snow was recorded in Central Park. Travelers are encouraged to check their flight status with their airline. That affected travel plans for about half a million fliers. The airports with the most cancellations were Newark in New Jersey, LaGuardia in NY and Boston Logan International Airport.

At Los Angeles International Airport, airlines reported 33 outbound flights and one inbound were canceled between noon and midnight as of 3 p.m. Monday. On a normal day, getting to LaGuardia is already hard because of a massive renovation project.

The storm closed schools in cities big and small, Amtrak suspended service and the post office halted mail delivery. Service between the two cities was suspended Tuesday because of the blizzard. "Do not travel. If you must travel ... have a winter survival kit with you".

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