Flight cancellations, delays pile up as winter storm aims for NY, NJ

Clay Curtis
December 2, 2019

Motorists navigate the slushy roadways of downtown Grass Valley during Tuesday evening's snow.

A wintry storm that made Thanksgiving travel miserable across much of the country gripped the eastern USA with a messy mixture of rain, snow, sleet and wind, slowing the Monday morning commute, closing schools and offices and snarling air travel.

The National Weather Service predicted more than 30cm of snow in swaths of upstate NY and New England, as well as ice accumulations in parts of Pennsylvania.

The same storm has been pummelling the USA for days as it moves cross-country, dumping heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest, and inundating other areas with rain.

Several airlines are offering waivers to customers caught in the winter storm. United Airlines is allowing customers flying to New England Sunday or Monday to reschedule their flights free of charge.

Two boys, aged five and eight, died last Saturday near Patton, Missouri, when the vehicle they were riding in was swept off flooded roads.

The bodies of a boy and a girl, both 5, were found in central Arizona after their vehicle was swept away Friday while crossing a swollen creek. A third child is missing. About 10 miles east, a 48-year-old man died in a separate incident; a storm-related death was also reported in South Dakota.

Back-to-back snowstorms and strong winds combined to seriously complicate travel by land across much of the rest of Wyoming, where roads were closed in the eastern and southern parts of the state because of whiteout conditions.

Severe storms are also possible in the lower Mississippi Valley on Saturday, and the East Coast faces a nor'easter Sunday night into Monday.

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Still, the authorities warned travellers to remain alert for slick conditions and blowing snow.

Residents should call ahead to see if offices they want to do business with are open today and bear in mind, several governments have issued travel advisories.

Farther south, precipitation was in the form of rain and thunderstorms.

As the storm shifted east, flight delays and cancellations piled up, disrupting travelers heading home after Thanksgiving.

As of 1:30 p.m. ET, airports with the most canceled flights include San Francisco with 69 and Newark, New Jersey, with 34 according to FlightAware.

Wind and rain are causing some arriving flights at San Francisco to be delayed an average of 4 1/2 hours.

LaGuardia Airport now has 13 canceled flights, with 91 delays, while JFK Airport has just four canceled flights and 60 delayed flights, FlightAware reports.

In Denver, 100 flights were cancelled Saturday because of high winds.

Forecasters were expected about two inches of snow accumulation overnight Sunday with another 5 inches of new snow for the Greater Binghamton area for Monday, December 2.

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