Large Winter Storm Pounds NE States & Travel
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BOSTON (CBSMiami) – Upwards of two feet of snow has fallen in the northeast leaving travel both on the road and through the air at a near standstill. The massive winter storm has shut down some major airports and is causing major delays at others.
As of 5 p.m., Miami International Airport was reporting 32 canceled and 105 delayed arrivals. The airport reports 20 departure flights canceled and 91 total delayed.
The airlines most affected at MIA were American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta and United that served cities in the upper Midwest and northeast.
Flightstats.com reported approximately 3,319 flights canceled as of 5:30 p.m.
According to flightstats.com, ExpressJet, JetBlue Airways, Southwest, American Eagle, American Airlines have all reported at least hundreds of flight cancellations as of Friday late evening.
Frustrated passengers waited for hours at MIA trying to re-book flights and get back home the massive winter storm swept through the Northeast and Midwest.
“I came from a cruise. Now I’m standing at the airport I got a reservation finally at Marriott hotel and that’s where I’m going and I’ll stay there until they can tell me I can fly out,” said Iris Morris.
Morris has been trying to get to New York.
At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the lines were even worse. As of 8:00 p.m. Friday, a total of 45 arriving flights were canceled and 35 departing flights canceled with 58 departure delays
The ripple effect of cancelled flights forced the Loretzson family to miss their flight to New York and ultimately a flight home to Sweden. They won’t get home until Tuesday.
“We try to see the positive of course but right now it doesn’t feel any good at all,” said Malin Loretzson.
Passengers waited for hours to rebook flights at airports in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and across the country. Some slept, some played games and some stared at their smartphones.
Many tried to stay positive but were unsure when they would return home.
“Come back in a few days we might still be here,” said Guy Hough.
“It’s hectic, it’s crazy, everyone is going everywhere the assistance is poor,” said Allie Norman. “I’m starting university on Monday so I really need to get home.”
The storm has shut down major highways in New York and sent temperatures plummeting to below zero in many places. Rochester, NY reported 18 inches of snow while areas just north of Boston reported 21 inches of snow on the ground.
Carol Belmont said they arrived at FLL Friday to news of their flight to Texas being canceled, most likely the case because the incoming flight was arriving from an airport affected by winter weather.
“What we’re disappointed in is that we weren’t notified. I can’t believe they didn’t know certain weather conditions existed at 9 a.m. this morning,” said Belmont.
The storm system has forced schools to close in all of New York City as the wind chills continued to plummet throughout the morning.
Much of the northwest was under a winter storm or blizzard warning well before the storm began to dump the snow. The National Guard was on standby in many areas in case of any coastal problems or major problems cropping up.
While residents in the northeast were dealing with the snowfall, parts of the Midwest were still trying to dig out of the snow the same system dumped on them. Nearly 17 inches of snow fell in some areas of Chicago and even a foot of snow was recorded at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.
As the system moved out of the Midwest, it left bone-chillingly cold temperatures in its wake. Temperatures in International Falls, Minnesota are expected to fall as low as -33 by Saturday night with wind chill values between -45 and -55 degrees.
The NFL is also monitoring the weather in Green Bay, Wisconsin as temperatures at game time of this Sunday’s playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers is expected to be below zero at kickoff and falling to as low as -20 with gusty winds early.
Areas in the northeast should rebound quickly due to a southerly win that will start as early as Saturday morning. But a second shot of cold air is expected in areas of the Midwest like Chicago which is forecasting an air temperature of -13 on Monday night.