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Travelers Stranded After Nor’easter Slams East Coast

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As a powerful Nor’easter moves up the East Coast, thousands of travelers are finding themselves stuck in airports, their flights a ‘snow go’, if you pardon the pun.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport had 138 delays and 144 cancellations.

Nationwide, 4,500 flights were cancelled for Thursday.

As of 9:00 p.m. MIA experienced 126 cancelled flights – 71 cancelled arrivals and 55 cancelled departures to/from the following cities: New York (both airports), Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. (both airports), Hartford, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Birmingham, Hartford, and Raleigh/Durham, Greensboro, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Charleston. There were 13 delayed arrivals.

Miami International also had 20 delayed arrivals and two delayed departures.

If you have a flight out, or are expecting an arrival, you can check the flight status here.

Most of the flights cancelled were for airports in Montreal, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Atlanta, Newark, Washington, New York, Baltimore, Atlantic City and Long Island.

Sleepy and understandably cranky some travelers who spent the night at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International were ready to get out.

“I want to be at my home in my bed,” said Marc Andren who was trying to get to Montrel.

Andren and his girlfriend bought blankets and slept on airport benches after their flight to Montreal was grounded on Wednesday. Andren said on top of getting almost no sleep, he has no clothes because their bags were left out in the rain.

“Everything is wet and they did nothing,” said Andren.

After rebooking flights four times, only to have them canceled, Mark and Ellen Kaplowitz called it quits and decided to stay in South Florida until the weekend.

“It was very frustrating. Our flight was cancelled. We were detoured to Detroit then they changed us back to Atlanta,” said Ellen Kaplowitz. “We’re going to stay until Saturday and hopefully skip the whole thing.”

Jenna Bishop who stood in line for hours before learning she wasn’t going anywhere, said she wished her airline would have gotten their act together a little sooner.

“They called me when I was standing in line to tell me it was canceled! So I don’t mind staying in Florida for a day, as long as you would have told me three hours a go,” said Jenna Bishop. “I could still be by the pool, I got this Minnesota pale skin! I’ve gotta get a tan.”

Most of the stranded travelers agreed that being stuck in South Florida, even on a gloomy day, wasn’t so bad.

“I’ll take rain over 12 inches of snow back home,” said Ellen Kaplowitz.

Another couple heading to Charlotte had to change their plans. They were supposed to go snowboarding in the mountains.

“We’re going to the Keys tomorrow! We’re not going to waste this weekend,” said Hanan Elfasry.

“We wanted to extend our trip anyway,” smiled Jake Davis from Toronto. “So it’s a blessing in disguise. We don’t want to go back home, it’s minus 16 there.”

But not everyone was resigned to stay an extra day or two. At the US Airways ticket counter, the line snaked around the corner. Many flights to their hubs in Charlotte and Philadelphia were canceled.

“We’ve moved, in about 45 minutes, we’ve moved about 20 feet, which is good,” said Charlotte passenger Dawn Anderson, while holding the phone to her ear. “And I’m also on hold trying to reach the airline for about 45 minutes.”

Airlines weren’t the only means of transportation affected.

Amtrak canceled some of its trains and changed schedules for others.   The Auto Train, Crescent, Carolinian, Palmetto and Piedmont trains were all canceled. The Silver Meteor is canceled from New York to Miami and the Silver Star will operate south from Jacksonville.

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